Saturday, March 27, 2010

I Am 5 - Very Unsatisfied with the Service

Ok, time to rant. Nowadays it seems that every service or purchase (over say $20!) comes with a phone call. "Hello Mr. Emmen-yule. Can you answer a few short questions about your satisfaction with..." OK. so at first this seemed cute. A few companies seeming to care enough to check up on you, make sure you were treated right. But slowly these calls have taken over as the primary source of telephone spam. I've had enough.

Here is the deal, if I don't like the service, I'll simply not be back. Yeah. I don't lodge complaints (very often, you really have to screw me over) it is not my nature. So really this kind of survey is about the only feedback you will get unless you suddenly realize I've stopped paying for your services. I freely admit that this seems like the only way to get feedback from folks like me - the worst customers. However, the constant surveys, to me, is just as bad as some idiot salesperson treating me like crap.

It is mostly the predictable nature of these calls that annoys me. It is most impersonal. "Can you rate your experience on a scale of one to five, five being very satisfied and ..." AAARRRRRGGGGHHHH! Come on. You want me to quantify my satisfaction? I might respond better to a friendly, "are you happy with our service?", that opened up a conversation if I was not. At least then I could say "yup" and hang up instead of wasting my time trying to quantify my level of satisfaction with something I probably wasn't paying that kind of attention to. Life people, I have one.

So, I am 5 - very unsatisfied with this stupid phone call. You interrupted my day for this? Come on. I want to retort, "how would you like it if I called you up in the middle of your stupid phone calls and asked how you were satisfied with your last cold call, on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being very unsatisfied and 5 being very satisfied?" But I actually have a better plan.

I'm opting out. No more. I am saying no.

I cant help wondering if this is just a make-work project? If it really is a way of curing bad customer service then the cure is worse than the cause. I don't doubt that some companies use this data to evaluate their service representatives. But when, and this has happened several times now, the service representative asks you to rate then all 1's or 5's (whatever is better) on the impending survey then they are defeating the purpose of the survey. I'm not a jerk, I won't rate them poorly because they asked. But I'm just going to opt out altogether.

End of rant.

Please rate your satisfaction with this blog post in the comments below.


Stephen said...


My job is to work with companies to help them figure out how to respond to just these kinds of surveys, so I genuinely appreciated hearing your perspective that you hate getting surveys! It's a genuinely new thought for me. We tend to assume that people who don't want to participate just don't participate, but it hadn't occurred to me that some resent even the invitation.

On my side of the process, I try to help organization leaders to identify what they're doing right and what they're doing wrong to exceed their customers expectations. Many times this involves trying to help leaders *listen* to their employees who often have a pretty good bead on things.

Anyway, reading your blogpost was very helpful to me as I like to have my paradigm expanded. I give it a 5! :)

One of Freedom said...

Stephen. I actually do enjoy surveys, ticking little boxes and all that stuff. But on my time and my terms. There is something different about the customer service satisfaction survey that just bugs me. It is probably because it is getting more and more ubiquitous. And not really feeling like it makes a concrete contribution. Perhaps, I can express that better as - it seems like the wrong question to ask and it seems like it is being asked far more often than I care to answer.

I readily filled out the first couple of restaurant satisfaction reports (online) that came my way. But now even the chance of winning a prize can't coax me into doing one of those surveys. And what is worse, I think 3 of the last 5 regular store purchases ended with some sort of incentive driven push to one of these surveys. It even happens at my grocery store now! It's just too much. Maybe it is too much of a good thing? I'm not sure.