Get Vocal

A better way to engage with the people

As a customer of a bar, I have always wanted to give feedback to the owner of what they can potentially do to improve the experience for people like me. Thoughts like “it’s kinda dim around here”, “it’s kinda loud around here”, “what? you don’t have wedges?”. The challenge is there is no avenue to provide that feedback to the business other than approaching the guys behind that counter and telling them something in passing which they may or may not remember.

I have the same challenge with online shops where you fill a form, submit, receive an automated reply, then subsequent silence. I have no idea what goes behind the scenes; did the other party record the concern or was it forgotten? There is no real way for me to tell the business what I would like to see with their brand.

Thus, the Get Vocal concept was born.

Feedback

The mechanism to ask and receive feedback should be unobtrusive and simple as it can be for the customer. This is the reason why we limited the number of questions to 5.

The business owner has the opportunity to ask targeted questions that they know are hot topics based on anecdotal evidence. Business owners may also want to ask broader questions such as “What can we do better?”.

This provides customers with a specific channel on websites to provide their feedback.

All feedback received will be sent by email to the business.

Social interaction

Building a channel for customer feedback is one thing, helping business owners to acknowledge the feedback and interact with their customers is another.

To help business owners along the journey, we are building a social feature which will make it easier for business owners and customers to interact through social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. This feature will encourage business owners to engage with their customers by thanking them initially for the feedback, then through a few other components of Get Vocal (below), reminding owners to engage more. For customers, it is an extension of how they may be interacting with the business at present, Facebook comments for example.

And for those that are not in those platforms, there is also a feature to provide their details directly. Once again an email will be sent to the owner which will then act as a prompt for them to thank the customer for their feedback through social media.

Customer engagement is the key principle of the capability and social media is the key.

Components

There are several other modern capabilities in Get Vocal that will help customers and business owners interact and engage.

There is a marketing component where businesses are able to present what they’re all about in a visually engaging manner and there is a component where customers may have the opportunity to get featured through the Get Vocal application. We are slowly building these components and we’ll be releasing details of those soon.

Businesses can select the component they want to use to fit their needs (and change components accordingly).

Tested, got it wrong and made it better

I have tested the concept a few times with a few small businesses and with people in the startup community, each time iterating through the design. The capability started out as an app which collected feedback and ratings. The big drawback to the initial design was that the app would not have the user base to compete with Facebook and Google Ratings — however, the business owners did like the concept. Fair enough I said and went back to the drawing board.

The second iteration saw the removal of Get Vocal as an app and introduced GV as a capability that can be hooked on a business website. This was well received and further refinements were made to get GV through iterations with business owners.

We are now up to the point of testing GV with business customers and hope to launch it soon with a business we’ve been working with.

The guys behind GV

I developed the viability of the product and created the prototype; which I guess makes me the product and designer guy.

Close comrade, full-stacker and tech wiz Adarsh is on verge of creating the beta.

Two guys with a dream and just enough spare time is all it takes. And we hope to keep the dream alive and provide some exciting updates in our next post.

Art by our one and only CTO

You can join our mailing list right here.