SCVNGR's LevelUp is once again giving consumers a voice in evaluating its mobile payments experience.
The company's latest addition is an in-app survey feature, which merchants can use to obtain post-transaction feedback that can be used to respond to customer compliments or complaints. It also recently added a distress button that lets consumers contact LevelUp directly if they encounter problems at the point of sale.
The new feedback feature "completes the picture of the customer base that we have been building," says Kate Reynolds, director of research and development for LevelUp. LevelUp's white-label clients had been requesting such a service, she says.
Consumers can access the feedback feature by tapping a button on a digital receipt after making a payment at a participating merchant. The survey has one question followed by a five star-based rating system, a field to enter text and a submit button.
The default question is, "How was your experience?" The merchant can reword the question or ask a different question, provided it melds with the star-based rating system.
"All of that information goes into a panel that the business owner can access, sort and use to take action based on that feedback," Reynolds says.
About 30 businesses are using the feature as part of a pilot. Though the test has run for a couple of weeks, it's too early to determine response rates from consumers, Reynolds says.
The survey feature costs merchants $5 per month for each location, and Reynolds says the revenue from the in-app surveys is not part of LevelUp's ongoing strategy to reduce its transaction fees, though Reynolds did say LevelUp is hoping to lower its fees again this year.
LevelUp additionally is expanding its use of Bluetooth beacons to deliver offers and detect when consumers enter stores.
Square also recently added a feedback feature tied to digital receipts.
"Providing a way for customers to give feedback can be very helpful if it is done in the right way," says Aleia Van Dyke, a payment analyst at Javelin Strategy & Research. "Customers love to provide their opinion on products and services; just look at the wealth of reviews on Amazon or Yelp."
But merchants have to be careful not to abuse the customer communication channel, a problem for retailers these days, Van Dyke says. "Asking for customer feedback and sending occasional marketing messages is OK. Spamming a customer's inbox with 'special' offers and other messages is detrimental to the customer relationship. The goal is this is to not only get customer feedback, but also to open up customer communication and maintain the avenue of communication."
Other mobile commerce and payment companies, such as the point of sale tablet maker Leaf and the car ordering service Uber, have user feedback features, notes Jordan McKee, a senior analyst at Yankee Group. "Of course, there is always the risk of feature paralysis when building out new functionalities. Wallet owners much always keep the end-user at the center of the experience and ensure convenience and ease of use remains at the heart of the value proposition."