Show (concern) and tell

Have you ever received a survey from a company after you experienced its product or service? If you take the time to complete this information, I’m sure your hope is that your feedback will be used for improvement. If you ask and show me sincere concern, I’m happy to tell you as much as you’d like to hear!

A few weeks ago, I was trying to fly home from Newark to Washington Dulles. During my two-hour connection layover, the departure gate literally changed nine times. On several occasions, by the time I trekked through the airport to reach the new gate, it had changed again. These gate changes were not minimal by any stretch of the imagination and would often require a walk of at least 10 minutes. While I was relatively content to get some exercise, I saw an elderly couple struggle to keep up with the walking. They also did not have access to a smartphone, which was advising others of the changes. After five changes, a few of us bonded together and ended up helping each other, including this couple.

 The following day, after a safe but rather delayed return, I received an email: “Tell us about your recent flight.” I completed the survey and gave specific examples of how the process could have been improved. With technology, surely there could be a more efficient way to advise travelers of gate changes and minimize the inconvenience at larger airports. I included my email address, mobile phone number and work number with hopes that I could speak to someone to understand this process.

No response. A week later — still no response. A month later — nothing.

I will fly over 100,000 miles this year. While I truly understand things may go wrong with service delivery, please don’t ask me a question if you don’t want to hear my answer.

Is your organization asking questions on how to improve your product or service? Are you listening to the answers, and how are you letting your customers know that their input is valuable and utilized?

Anxious to hear your thoughts in the comments below!