Voice Survey

Today we went through self-checkout a major discount store. As you walk up to the checkout, the automated voice starts to talk with you. It gives you instructions and guides you through your purchase. Once your purchase is complete, the voice tells you to have a nice day, and asks, “How did we do today?” The recording then goes on to say to you that you can fill out a survey to give feedback on your experience.

The Insight

A stoke of natural interaction, someone who I was with responded to the question asked. When the voice asked how they did today, someone they started to answer back. Suddenly it all became clear to me:

Why wouldn’t this superstore record people’s responses right at that moment? They could capture natural and raw reactions to find out how things were going with the customer right at the moment that the customer was most engaged.

Voice Survey At Work

Here is how this can be implemented this week:

  1. Have one or two questions that a pre-recorded voice will ask.
  2. After each question and then record the answer that someone gives.
  3. Take the recordings and find out new and interesting customer insights.

Questions Script

Because you won’t necessarily know when people have stopped talking, you may have to be creative with the way that you ask the questions. You don’t want to leave a lot of space, but you also want to acknowledge that you might cut people off. Here is a possible script:


“Thanks for shopping here today, we have a short survey today that you can answer just by talking to me. I will ask you two questions, and your answer will be recorded, but to keep things moving, I might cut you off if your answers are longer than 20 seconds long.”

Question One

How was your experience today? Could we have done something better?

Question two

I’m sorry if I am cutting off your first answer, but I don’t want to keep you too long. What is it about our store that you would recommend to someone else?


Thanks for sharing your thoughts on how we can be a better store. I’m sorry if I cut you off again. If you didn’t get a chance to say everything you wanted to (because I cut you off) you can tell us more about your experience here: [voicefirst.online.]

How to Apply This To Your Work

A couple of months ago, I developed a voice-first social media site. The technology can pivot to provide a way to do this same type of voice surveys on your web-site or in any context that you want. By gathering immediate feedback on how people are feeling about your site, you can learn how to make it better.

Curating the Results Low and High-Tech

So the question is how to do you curate voice-recorded feedback? There are a few ways:


Listen to the feedback.

If people are willing to give you immediate, spoken, feedback on your product or service, you should listen to the feedback and hear what people have to say. You could also engage Mechanical Turk or a transcription freelancer to transcribe the results and tabulate some key data.


Use voice-to-text to transcribe the comments and use machine learning, or other data analysis techniques, to determine the key-words or concepts that you should be paying attention to.

Why Am I Telling You About This? (Why This Blog Post?)

I’m telling you about this for a few reasons:

  1. To remind us all that there can be simple ways that we can gather the feedback that would be beneficial to our customers and our business.
  2. So that you can use this idea in your work. If you can implement something like this: go and do it.

I feel that voice surveys will soon be something that we all become used to. Whether you or I implement it, or if someone else does: it will be here soon. Feel free to take my idea and run with it.

Alternatively, I’d be happy to offer my services to help you get up-and-running with your own voice survey. Connect with me if you want: john@fortyfour-three.com