Surveying the customer seems like a good idea to find out ways to improve. Yet, I’ve been on the receiving end of customer experience surveys that show me we’re doing it all wrong.
Anyone who has purchased a car or who has had their car serviced recently by a car dealership is likely aware of the 10-point customer experience survey that arrives, via email, after the dealership visit. Other interactions with their customer service (say to troubleshoot the connection between said new car and the proprietary little app system that runs the electronics) also trigger a “rate our customer service” email. All these chances to provide feedback are good, right? Nope.
When each interaction with your service creates more work for me, the customer, I wonder. Also, the sales operation doesn’t feel open to actual feedback, it seems they’re only interested in the goal – getting the top mark. They show this in unsubtle ways. Visual cues for how the dealership would like to be rated are on the back of the salesman’s cubicle and on the wall facing the seats in the service department waiting area.
Before I switched to a Chrysler product, I had a car with another brand name. And that dealership sent very emotive letters ahead of the survey, essentially saying if you cannot give us a 10, please let us know so we can correct it before you fill out the survey. Basically, let’s keep this between us, don’t tell Papa Franchise/OEM about any frustration.
Earlier this year, I got this form stapled to my receipt at the drugstore. It says that I may receive a survey, and if I don’t answer a 5 (top score for them) my response “won’t count”!
This pharmacy’s assertion that a rating below “5” won’t count cannot be true, and this note is the opposite of customer service. It’s just forcing the customer to be involved in gaming a corporate system. Yuck. With the people who are the subject of the surveys (sales and customer service folk) specifically asking to subvert the intention of the survey….how can we take this data seriously?
We know from online ratings that people really don’t bother to review a company or an experience unless they’re thrilled or torqued off. Yet, most of the experiences we have with brands, stores, and car dealers are somewhere in the middle of horrid to spectacular. It’s unrealistic to expect they’ll be spectacular 10.0 across the board all of the time. And it’s particularly silly to ask your customer to enable this charade.
Don’t bother your customers
Bothering the customer to give you top marks on a survey isn’t a good customer experience.
I’ve started a new behavior in response to this: I won’t fill these silly things out.
If I can’t give the customer service top marks, but it isn’t the agent’s fault (e.g. the issue is mechanical or technological) I have a hard time rating the interaction at all. I can’t give it a 10 because I’m still unsatisfied. But the agent was nice and at least sympathetic to the weirdness of the [insert technical or mechanical issue here]. So, should I be honest and say they’re eroding my faith in their brand but they hire friendly people to take the hit? That’s not an option in the survey, so I just delete the customer experience surveys now.