Are you sick of “customer satisfactions surveys,” too?
I am fed up with getting a survey almost every time I purchase anything — from a room of furniture to a hotel room; from some doo-dad at a home improvement store to a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
Marriott — and many other hotel chains — send out surveys that take about as long to complete as I stayed at their property. God forbid that I tell them that I had a drink at the bar! If I do, I’ll have to answer a litany of questions ranging from the quality of the drink to the friendliness (or lack thereof) of the bartender.
GoGo, the wireless Internet provider, sends me a survey on their service after almost every flight that I take. I’ve stopped answering the surveys because after lambasting the speed of the Internet multiple times, I’ve never received a response to my input — and the product they sell isn’t getting any better. Why waste my time?
- Remarkably, the individual who first ignited the trend is disgusted, too.
Bloomberg reports: “Fourteen years ago, an executive at Bain & Co had a suggestion — create a short consumer survey to test brand loyalty. The idea took off, so much so that the executive, Fred Reichheld, has watched it morph into a Frankenstein: the endless loop of ‘brief’ satisfaction surveys following a dental appointment, car rental or salad at a corner restaurant. Not only are the requests inescapable, but employees increasingly pressure, even bribe, customers to offer only the highest marks, raising real questions about the results.”
Several years ago, I wrote about the worst experience that I have had with BMW — the relentless pursuit of their survey company.
As my mobile phone has a 702 area code — Las Vegas — the company presumed I was on Pacific time. Which meant they called me in New York City one night at 11:30 PM to ascertain my satisfaction with the dealership where I purchased my car.
Ironically, there was no question included to evaluate the survey or the company in charge of it — just the BMW dealership, which (as usual) performed exceptionally well. Except for one aspect: the coaching of the customer on how to respond to the survey!
My sales professional practically begged for a perfect score. “Let me know,” he whispered, “if there is any aspect where you don’t think I’m a ‘5’ and I’ll make it right. You have no idea how much hell we catch for anything less than perfect.”
As the Bloomberg article states, “Problems with surveys are two-fold, researchers said. First, too many surveys with too many questions turn off consumers. Second, results that are tied to employee bonuses — or jobs — prove inaccurate. Combined, these problems are turning a useful method of interacting with customers into a headache.”
As a business leader, you SHOULD be concerned with the customer experience — and you should be OBSESSED with making it distinctive!
However, your survey is a part of the experience, too! You have to ask yourself if your survey is delivering the type of engagement that your customer will value — or if the last taste that your customer has of you is one that is irritating and off-putting.
“The instant we have a technology to minimize surveys, I’m the first one on that bandwagon,” the creator of the surveys, Fred Reichheld says.
- If HE’S saying that…what are YOUR customers saying?