Buying turf

I bought some turf at the weekend.

After checking out, the cashier pointed to the bottom of my receipt and encouraged me to leave feedback for the chance to win a prize.

To leave my feedback I had to visit a URL. Without even looking at what the URL was, I figured I couldn’t be bothered leaving feedback.

Why was that?

b&q receipt

The status quo

The reason I didn’t leave feedback was two-fold:

  1. Who wants to enter a URL into their smartphone?
  2. My previous experience with feedback surveys was torturous, and the cashier’s words of ‘it takes two minutes’ were ominous.

But I had a go anyway

When I got home, I gave it a go on mobile in my back garden, as I leaned on a spade.

The first thing I noticed was how many valuable seconds went by in telling B&Q what store I visited, on what day and at what time.

As far as I was concerned, B&Q already ‘knew’ this information – it’s all on my receipt – but chose not to carry it forward to the feedback process.

Feedback forms aren’t just designed for those with a receipt, but predominantly they are.

Let’s look at those unnecessary steps.

Unnecessary step one: a map took a while to load in browser (on WiFi)

This put me off straight away. If I was on my mobile data, I would have quit the process here.

The map was pointless – how many B&Qs are there in any town or city? Not enough for confusion.

A simple list would have sufficed – the browser had already asked to use my location so the options were narrowed significantly.

map b&Q feedback  map b&Q feedback

Unnecessary step two: adding date and time

By the time I added date and time of visit (below), by my reckoning, I had traversed four pages with a total of 10 clicks just to give a retailer information I felt it already knew.

If I had abandoned on any of these four pages, the retailer would still know nothing of my thoughts.

b&q feedback  b&q feedback

Next, the survey itself

I have to first give a rating and then explain my rating. I can deal with that (see my boring responses below).

But after this, the survey drags on too long. Keep reading and I’ll show you.

b&q feedback  b&q feedback

Below I have included screenshots from the rest of the survey questions (before data collection).

I wanted to lump them altogether so you get an idea of the disproportionate length of the survey, after I have already rated my visit (and qualitatively explained that rating).

As you can see, most of the questions are concerned with whether or not B&Q staff smiled at me.

I understand this – it’s what makes B&Q good, the customer service.

However, the most important part of a feedback survey, aside from improving, is capturing customer data (possibly with permission to market to them).

If I abandon the survey because of these repetitive questions (and the lack of a progress bar meaning I’m not entirely sure this survey won’t go on forever), then B&Q doesn’t get my data.

Yes, the retailer may have saved my answers so far, but it’ll never tie them to an email address and have chance to develop our relationship.

b&q feedback  b&q feedback

b&q feedback  b&q feedback

b&q feedback

Total pages and clicks?

After entering my details and submitting, I had seen approximately 13 pages and clicked 30 times (excluding free text fields).

On mobile I want one scrolling page, not too long, with my reward in sight and room to say my piece.

So, what’s my point?

Retailers make a big deal of wanting customer feedback.

But many of their approaches are stuck in a rut – based on old-fashioned face-to-face questions or a long paper questionnaire.

Consumers want to do things quickly, so if retailers put as much effort into streamlining feedback channels as they do optimising their checkouts, everyone would be better off.

I don’t mean something as quick, opaque and unrewarding as those green, orange and red buttons in stores, but a middle ground.

It’s all part of what I would consider a multichannel or omnichannel experience, and should match the quality of B&Q’s excellent website.

On QR codes, specifically, there’s a dilemma. Although I think they would be the perfect solution on a receipt to streamline some of the process, their adoption is non-existent.

Your phone’s operating system likely doesn’t have a reader and users are sceptical about the codes themselves.

What a missed opportunity, when one sees how useful they are in China.


This post isn’t an indictment of B&Q. Far from it. I’m just being demanding to make a point.

The retailer is doing fine here – the feedback form was mobile optimised and I have at least been entered into a prize draw.

Additionally, receiving further information was an opt-in process when giving my data (rather than opt out), as one would expect.

However, it’s in areas like customer feedback where brands can go from good UX to great UX.