Customer Satisfaction Surveys. Nearly every business uses them. They have to, in some form or fashion, ascertain how happy (angry or apathetic) their customers are with their products. But are they always beneficial? I am going to tackle this topic from the customer, not the brand, point of view. It’s all a part of my guerrilla customer service research.
I am not knocking customer satisfaction surveys at all. What I am knocking is the process by which many surveys are deployed. I know businesses want and need to know that their customers are Very Satisfied vs. Satisfied or (Yikes!) Very Unsatisfied; that their customers are Very Likely to Recommend; that their customers are Promoters (9 or 10), rather than Passives (7 or 8 ) or Detractors (0-6). However, I believe that the traditional means by getting that information might be becoming antiquated.
Paper, phone calls, email, web, IVR..Any market research firm worth their weight will deploy these techniques on behalf of their clients. My firm does it. But the times they are a changin’..People are busy. Why should I take time out of my day to tell you about you just because you asked me to on your receipt? What are you going to do about my comments if they are negative? And frankly, my chances of winning $1000, $500, a gift card or an iPad are slim to none.
So, I’ve decided to investigate the surveys that we customers are asked to complete. My biggest beefs so far are as follows:
- Length of time it takes to complete. Are you kidding? If your survey is 50+ questions, the average Jane on the street isn’t going to finish. I would love to see drop rates!
- Making every question an NPS (Net Promoter Score) type question.
- Asking me the same question twice using two different scales (like Highly Unsatisfied-Very Satisfied and then 0-10)
- Asking me questions about everything, as opposed to trying to pinpoint a specific issue that I had (By the way, customers don’t remember very much about who did what. They remember satisfaction. If you want to know who did what, use a mystery shopping program
- Showing a progress bar that barely moves (2 pages in and I am 8% complete?)
- Asking questions that populate new ones (Who wants to bet that people change their answers just to get those to go away; not to mention it makes that progress bar move more slowly)
- Non-responsiveness. Why on earth are you asking me about how happy I am with you if I tell you that I am unhappy and you don’t do anything about it?
- Infant Who Begins Babies R Us Customer Satisfaction Survey Dies of Old Age (servicewitch.com)
- Re: Is the survey you are completing research or customer relationship management? (bizaboutbiz.com)