Business development / Startups

This startup is trying to make in-the-moment feedback more mainstream in the US

Businesses need customer feedback, but getting it is tricky. Meet FeedTrail, which makes surveys as easy as sending a snap.

You should get some. (Photo by Flickr user Alan Levine, used under a Creative Commons license)

Paul Jaglowski thought he might go to business school, but then a startup happened.

“This picked up and I was like, ‘Well shit, I guess I’ll ride this out,'” Jaglowski told in a recent conversation.

“This” is FeedTrail — a mobile feedback solution launched in Finland in 2016. Jaglowski is leading U.S. expansion and getting an MBA from what he describes as the school of hard knocks, all at the same time.

Here’s the idea: surveys suck. But businesses of all kinds, from healthcare to banking to restaurants to mass transit and beyond, need customer feedback. How can these entities best get customers to share their thoughts? FeedTrail takes surveys out of your next-day email inbox (where, let’s be real, no one is prone to respond) and into the moment. It does this by using Snapchat’s (!) QR code scanning capability.

This is how easy it is to pull up a FeedTrail survey using Snapchat. (Screenshot)

This is how easy it is to pull up a FeedTrail survey using Snapchat. (Screenshot)

FeedTrail customers (for example, in D.C. FeedTrail works with the DMV Food Truck Association) can display a QR code at the point of customer-business interaction, soliciting feedback. Customers need only scan the QR code with Snapchat to be directed to a simple (personalized by the business) survey. Don’t have Snapchat? The business can also provide a URL, which is a little less user-friendly. That said, according to Jaglowski, asking people for feedback immediately after they’ve had the experience is really what makes all the difference. Businesses can also display their request for feedback on a tablet if the location allows.

In Finland, where FeedTrail originated, this kind of customer relationship management is much more popular than it is in the U.S.

“In the U.S. there’s a much larger education piece,” Jaglowski admits, of running sales here. That said, things are going pretty well. The company has paying customers in six countries, including Inova Health and the D.C. Food Truck association in this area. The team of five (three in Finland and two in the U.S.) recently went full time.

As for Jaglowski, he’s hard at work on that IRL MBA. “I’ve learned so much,” he said.

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