Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What I Really Want to Tell United in Their Online Survey

Online surveys a good, but they are over-used as a cheap way to get user feedback. These surveys cannot be accurate simply by the "one size fit's all" type of design they utilize. There's never an opportunity in these multiple choice surveys for users to give details about their unique experience with a business. Why not actually talk to your customers?

What I really want to tell United in this survey which I found in my inbox this morning is... DON'T spam all your customers with a survey disguised as a contest. I would much rather have a guaranteed, small, mileage grant for completing a survey, than have the carrot of 100,000 frequent flier miles dangled in my face. The way I look at this, is there is no actual reason for me to complete this survey for United because there's no guarantee that I'll get anything for my time & thoughts. Not to mention the fact that every other airline conducts their surveys with similar contests. And on top of all of this, "contest websites" are starting to proliferate on the web, it's getting to be contest overload for consumers.

So what about my flight? Well, it was really weird that the "economy plus" section on my flight was nearly empty while plain ole economy was packed. It was also kinda weird that United had to announce to customers not to spread into Economy Plus without first paying for it. Nobody wanted to cough up the extra $50 for 5 more inches. I remember the good old days when if a flight wasn't full, folks were welcome to make themselves more comfortable without being taxed.

My only other criticism about my recent travel is about the check-in kiosk at the airport. It's difficult to use and puts way too much emphasis on 'up-selling' instead of expedient check-in. United, please contact me for some usability help with your software!

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