Today’s customers are experiencing feedback survey fatigue, and it doesn’t help that any feedback they may leave has no impact on their own experiences in the moment. Forward-thinking brands who are committed to winning at customer experience are finding new ways to collect feedback in real-time, and evaluating the ‘peak’ moments in their customer journey in the process.

Finding the peak moments in the customer journey

There isn’t a single right time to ask for feedback. What is important is that the question you ask is relevant to what the customer is experiencing at that time, and that there is enough time for staff to action the feedback before the customer leaves. Consider “The Peak-End Rule” when deciding on the best moment to task for feedback. This rule states that the typical consumer’s memory of a customer experience is not the average of all moments but the feelings they experienced at the peak moment and at the end of the interaction.

The typical consumer’s memory of a customer experience is not the average of all moments but the feelings they experienced at the peak moment and at the end of the interaction.

With a detailed customer journey map, you should be able to narrow down the times at which your customers’ peak moments occur. The peaks are when the emotions are highest, triggering memory recall. These are the moments in which to focus investment (as well as the low points) whereas the  moments in between are less consequential. Below are three common peak moments for consumer brands.

  1. The Arrival

The moment your customer arrives they are transitioning from an outside space to ideally a rich, immersive experience with a distinct atmosphere. This transition should prompt a positive emotional response whether that be the total relaxation felt upon entering a spa or the high-octane excitement of an adventure park. It’s important to remember that this moment is not necessarily the start of the customer experience – that might have been when they discovered your brand online or saw an ad. There will be many factors that influence what the customer’s expectations are the moment he or she arrives. One way to trigger feedback at this moment would be a prompt when the customer logs in to Wi-Fi to gauge their first impression.

  1. The Moment of Discovery

The moment that a customer discovers something new, there is an immediate feeling of value obtained. Now that many stores have their products available for easy discovery online, the brick and mortar experience can seem a bit predictable, even dull. By including something special in store, customers will feel rewarded for coming in. The discovered item need not be a product, it could be personalized advice, some form of entertainment or education around upcoming product launches, partnerships, events or other brand activities. If you want to measure the success of in-store initiatives, the feedback question should be tailored to this moment and asked soon after.

  1. The Moment of Surprise

Moments that are unexpected are more likely to last in customers’ memories, particularly if they have a personal touch. Once you have the ‘typical’ customer journey mapped out, it becomes easier to brainstorm ways to creates moments of surprise. These can be based on a seemingly trivial detail made into something extraordinary for the customer, or it can be a free service based on a previous purchase they made, such as free dry-cleaning for the suit they bought, or a gym class to recognize athletic gear they purchased. If an offer is being made, there could be a sign or accompanying note that simply asks the customer for their feedback.

Understanding your brand’s peak moments requires truly immersing yourself in the experience from your customers’ perspective, then encouraging your entire team to build empathy with them. With the right experience design, and a way to continuously gather feedback, you can more scalably provide exceptional experiences to your customers at the times when it matters most.