The title sounds a bit 'Inception' but its never that complicated with us.

The title sounds a bit 'Inception' but its never that complicated with us.

The Lab has come to its quarterly review of our smart thermostat test. A Switchee thermostat was installed in 18 homes back in September and the test is due to last for a full year with the aim is to see if it can reduce the cost of heating a customers home.

One of the benefits of Switchee is that we get constant data from the device automatically but the data doesn't give a full picture of what the customers think of it. Knowing if its user friendly or perceived to be making a positive difference is just as valuable, if not more so. We knew what questions we wanted to ask but then we began to think about how we get in contact.

Its quite easy in any organisation to start believing that your customer base is somehow alien to the rest of society, that they live in a bubble, and at Bromford we often ask the question of how digitally savvy are our customers?

In the midst of this debate, the lab decided to gather this quarters feedback using QR codes linked to google forms.

Not all our tests require a grand structure and if we can find out some quick insight we'd be daft to miss it. 

The approach may not work and honestly as I was thinking of some of the customers I was sending the postcards to, I could hear the voice in my head saying 'are they going to know what this is?', but we don't know the answer until we try. It is easy to talk yourself out of doing something based on what is probably the minority.

Studies have shown that often the way organisations choose to design customer service is based around interactions with the 20% who are most active. The ones who will take up most time. This often leaves the 80% who just want quick easy interactions put off by the hassle. Should we be governed by the 20%?

QR codes are not new or cutting edge so to some it may seem unrealistic to be debating over whether our customers know how to use them. However we wanted to start challenging our preconceptions, if only in a small way, and maybe give some kind of insight into the debate.

We don't know what people are capable of unless we give them an opportunity to try.

QR codes today - tomorrow neurosurgery?