I'm typically critical of Apple and their limited user research. However, the other day, I got a surprise...an email asking for feedback about my experience at the Apple store.
Just getting an email like that made me feel awesome - and not because they are now doing some user research and collecting feedback - but because I feel like they care about my opinion. I felt a little warm and fuzzy.
Apple's store experience, honestly, rocks. It's superior. You can buy something in minutes if you want, linger if you want, play if you want - they don't care. They help you find what you need quickly and supply the resources to help keep you a happy customer.
However, as a customer it feels great to get an email asking for my feedback. I felt like my thoughts matters - like they care.
This got me to reflect about how much it matters to ask for user feedback regularly to change and modify a product or experience - and at the same time, build brand loyalty. When you ask people for feedback, you are asking them to participate in designing and creating experiences. People want to contribute and feel part of the process. This is why people who are so passionate about politics vote - they feel that their voice matters and that they are contributing directly to what happens. If you feel your voice matters, you feel that the larger organization listens to you - and listening builds a relationship between users and an organization (and it's brand). It creates a stronger connection (loyalty) through conversation.
Apple always had brand loyalty because its products appealed strongly to its audience and reflected their needs. But now that Apple wants feedback - and if they use that feedback - imagine what will happen next!
I'm glad that Apple sent out that survey - it showed me that I can provide value to their brand and store experience and contribute to that customer/organization conversation beyond buying their products. I felt like I was part of the Apple extended team, on a mission to make a better store. I can only imagine how others feel participating in a survey for any organization - most likely the same.