Different ways to ask for feedback.

I had intended to write about small businesses and customer service today, but will be saving that until Monday. Instead, I’m going to talk about a few ways to gather feedback.

Here are some examples (in no particular order):

Kayak.com – kayak.com/feedback
This form, which is linked to from the bottom of every page is straight forward and asks a few key questions (would you refer Kayak to a friend, would you use Kayak again, etc.). Well done and extremely effective.

Headsets.com headsets.com/headsets/company/contact.html
The contact page has a feedback form as well as some other email addresses for various things. You have to guess a little to find the page to provide feedback (as it says Contact Us, not Feedback), but it is still effective.

Alienware – feedback@alienware.com
Whenever you call Alienware, the representative will say to send your questions, comments, etc. to the feedback@alienware.com email address. They do reply and it is an extremely simple and effective method of gathering feedback.

Craigslist – craigslist.org/about/help/feedback
In the site’s help section, there is a feedback page. They have a feedback forum as well as a simple help@craigslist.org email address.

Dell – dell.com
Dell has a feedback form linked to from their site’s home page. It is actually a feedback link for their web site, not the company’s products. Somewhat misleading, but asking for feedback regardless.

HP – hp.com
Like Dell, HP also has an easy way to provide web site feedback. However, finding a page to provide feedback on products and other things is not easy. There are lots and lots of options.

Remember the Milk – rememberthemilk.com/help/contact/
My favorite to do list application has a “Feedback” link with a simple form at the bottom of every page. When you send in a feedback report (like I did – providing positive feedback) you receive a personal reply. Very simple, very effective.

See the differences? Lots of people ask for feedback in different ways. Some people do it well, others are okay, and others are terrible.

Great: Kayak.com, Alienware, Remember the Milk
Acceptable: Headsets.com, Craigslist
Bad: Dell, HP

Kayak does it the best because they ask some good questions and make the form easy to find. Alienware does it great because it is so simple and convenient to just send an email to feedback@alienware.com. Remember the Milk does well because like Kayak, their system is also very simple and effective.

Headsets.com does better than Craigslist because they have an actual form for feedback (just the term). Craigslist also keeps things simple, but does not have a form and the page is slightly buried. However, both are acceptable (if not better).

Dell does badly because their form is misleading and is more for web design than customer service. HP has a feedback section, but there are too many options and it makes it complicated.

Here is a weekend project: try and model the feedback methods of one of the “great” companies and add a feedback section to your web site. It isn’t complicated (a semi-competent programmer could probably set something up within about 15-20 minutes) at all and the feedback you get from customers will be well worth the time and effort.