I’ve always been a big advocate of customer satisfaction surveys to assess how you’re doing as a business. It can be a very effective marker for how your front line people are treating your most important asset – the customer.
But I’m seeing more and more customer satisfaction surveys that are a complete waste of everyone’s time.
Yes, Telstra and Commonwealth Bank, I’m talking about you.
On two occasions family members have engaged with Telstra and signed up for phone deals. Both times, at the end of the process, the salesperson said
Please do this customer survey. Please give me a high rating. Anything below 9/10 and I get in trouble.”
(The family member worried that if a high rating wasn’t provided, then their phone account would be sabotaged.)
The CBA is just as bad/stupid
A friend just signed up for a home loan with he Commonwealth Bank.
Sure enough, at the end of what was apparently a pretty poor experience, the bank manager asked:
Oh by the way, could you complete our customer satisfaction survey? Just so you know, if I get anything below an 8/10 I get into trouble. So above that would be great!”
These companies are delusional if they think they’re getting anything other than complete nonsense in their survey results. They’re delusional if they believe they’re providing great service. And they’re delusional if they don’t understand they’re basically threatening the customer to give them a high satisfaction score.
Sure, it looks great on paper back at corporate. But at the coal face, where real customers live, these nonsense surveys are alientating a already annoyed customer base.
It’s simple – people in surveys will tell you what they think you want to hear. The truth isn’t the highest priority.
The best way to assess customer service levels
The best way to assess the quality of your customer service levels is simple: implement secret shoppers.
That is, engage people to act as customers and present your staff with a range of issues – from a simple sale to a complaint to the shopper trying to bargain down the price.
That’s the only way you’ll find out how your staff perform, rather than how they tell you (or manipulate others to tell you) they’ll perform.