Delta had a problem. Customers couldn’t easily give feedback to frontline employees (like gate agents and flight attendants). As a result, these employees didn’t have an accurate picture of their CX performance.

This is the story of how I designed a better way for customers to give, and employees to receive, real-time feedback.

"Twitter is not a feedback tool."

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Understanding the problem

The most reliable way for our customer-facing employees to receive feedback from passengers is through social media. Seriously. And oftentimes, it takes several days for the feedback to reach them. This begged two questions: Could we use the power of design to encourage customers to give real-time feedback? And could it be something our employees have time to use?

Conversations with both customers and employees uncovered the single biggest challenge to giving and receiving feedback – everyone is busy. Passengers are busy dealing with the stress that comes with air travel, and employees don't have time to sift through pages of comments and identify actionable trends. Challenge accepted.

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Image © Delta

Getting off the ground

The end users were segmented into three groups: customers, agents, and their managers. After creating a long list of potential features for each group, I sorted them into tiers and began to put pen to paper on the design.

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"Make it useful, then pretty."

Incremental improvement

The initial approach was to create an app that encouraged the different users to dig into the data. But after showing the first prototype to the agents and their managers, it was clear that they valued speed more than depth.

To meet this goal, the unorthodox swiping navigation structure was replaced by a more traditional scrollable approach. A weekly summary took precedence over granular feedback, allowing employees to see trends in just a few seconds.




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"What else can notifications do?"

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Something completely new

Every project has an inflection point, that one moment when its direction suddenly shifts for the better. In this case, it happened when we began to explore customer notifications. Rich notifications aren't new, but we were able to push the envelope and create something we'd never seen – an entire survey in a single notification.

This is not a traditional app. It’s designed not to be opened. Instead, customers receive periodic notifications that they can interact with. That means multi-question surveys from their lock screen, all in a matter of seconds.

The concept of an "app-less app" for customers also opened new opportunities for employees, and the concept expanded to include notifications with performance summaries and feedback.

Testing the new approach

A functional prototype was built in iOS, and initial user testing was incredibly encouraging. The average time for a customer to provide feedback? 12 seconds. Agents only needed about 15 seconds to read their feedback, and managers about 30.


What's next for Delta Feedback

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Applying the learnings

This project proved that feedback can be quick and engaging. It’s one more way Delta can delight our customers.

The core of my idea (a notification-based survey and weekly summary for employees) is being improved upon to accommodate even more use cases across the business. Eventually we hope to include this feature in the Fly Delta app.