Survey Madness

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Anyone else notice that every time you make a phone call to any sort of company, you are asked in some way, at some point in the call, about how the service was – or asked to do a survey at the end of the call. I am massively annoyed by this. I called my bank the other day because I didn’t recognize the company my online bank account indicated took money from me. I was concerned. I called and spoke to a rep who cleared up the matter instantly – honestly, my situation was addressed in 4 seconds. I was then asked if I wanted to complete some survey. I didn’t and I never do, but for some strange reason that day, I wanted to see how long the survey took. I said fine and the survey ended up lasting nearly 30x longer (2 minutes) than the matter for which I called. I was pissed (though it was my fault for allowing curiosity to take hold).

And, just yesterday, I had another example, this one an email survey. It came from Turbo Tax. I had a tax question that I emailed in and the response given to me in an email from Turbo Tax was 10 words long. The number of words in the survey below it was 40-50 words. Ridiculous.

Given the out of control use of surveys today, I worry for the future of customer service. Will it look like this:

  • “Good afternoon sir, how can we help you today?”
  • “Um, I had a quick question about…”
  • “Excuse me, would you be able to complete a quick survey rating the effectiveness of the greeting I used…?”

I know the major argument against my having a problem with this survey madness is that they are voluntary and I don’t have to do them. But my counter to that point would be that just because they’re voluntary doesn’t mean they’re not annoying!

(From a clinical perspective, I’d say that this constant need for reassurance is an epidemic crisis of collective corporate self-esteem.)

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2 Responses to “Survey Madness”

  1. Rich Beckman Says:

    The constant surveying is a result of the inability to interview/hire and train. I’ll bet 90% of the people doing interviews for hiring in this country do not have the foggiest idea of how to conduct the interview and, more importantly, how to identify quality candidates.

    Good training requires effort and dollars and must be followed up with a culture that reinforces the training. “The customer is always right” is meaningless if the customer is routinely made fun of behind his or her back.

    But establishing the culture requires a lot of effort and is somewhat dependent upon proper hiring and training.

    This is too much for corporations and so instead of doing all that and KNOWING that good customer service is being given, they conduct surveys.

    People may lose their jobs over a bunch of negative feedback, but then the replacement is just another crapshoot, so the surveys continue.

    Not that I have an opinion on the issue.

  2. Cindy V Says:

    I’d like to do a quick survey the readers of PackerGeeks.

    1. How often do you check the website?

    [ ] daily
    [ ] weekly
    [ ] monthly
    [ ] hourly

    2. How often do you respond to posts?

    [ ] sometimes
    [ ] never
    [ ] only when I’ve been drinking

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