Today is one of those days. A meeting in Zhuhai at 11am. Take the 08:40 ferry from Hong Kong, no problem. I’d researched the ferry times, got to the ferry port with loads of time to spare and went up to the ticket counter. “Ticket to Zhuhai please”. Suddenly there was an earlier 8am ferry leaving in five minutes, if I run I could catch it. “You’re sure this goes to Zhu…” I started to ask, but the man behind the counter cut me off. “Yes it goes to zhunzen, now hurry!” but I didn’t hear him correctly, I was focussed on a boat leaving earlier than expected, and that would definitely get me to my meeting on time. Communication Breakdown. It was only as the ferry left Hong Kong and turned right rather than left I realised my mistake. I was on the boat to Shenzen.
But that is not the purpose of this post. Arriving in China, when going through passport control, under the glass window there is a little box with three buttons on it, inviting you to rate your experience – green for perfect, yellow for satisfactory and red for unsatisfactory. Capturing customer feedback at the time of the experience. Howe much more valuable is that than asking customers to complete a lengthy questionnaire some time later, after the event. I think that websites could learn from this. Rather than a pop-up inviting customers to complete a questionnaire of a number of pages (often this appears just as you start your experience at the site), why not get customers to “rate this page” or “rate your experience” as a simple thumbs up or down (as you might Digg comments). This will provide instant feedback, maybe not qualitative, but quick and simple quantative data.
And if I had the ability to rate today? Right now, as I sit in a dingy cafe waiting the two hours for the next ferry back to Hong Kong, with a rapidly flattening laptop battery, I’d have to press the thumbs down, unsatisfactory red light on my current experience.