3 tips on how not to collect customer satisfaction informationArticle added by Tim McAdow on April 26, 2012
Tim McAdow

Tim McAdow

Appleton, WI

Joined: October 17, 2011

My Company

Here are just three of many tips regarding what not to do with survey data collection.

Capturing feedback from your customers is a great thing. I’m a strong proponent of voice of the customer programs, which at their core, measure satisfaction and loyalty.

The major feedback component of a VOC program is the survey — there are right ways to solicit surveys and there are wrong ways.

A few weeks ago I visited my local major auto-brand dealer for an oil change. The service was reasonably priced, there was a comfortable waiting area and the process only took about 20 minutes. They should have been happy with me, I even purchased one of those overpriced “cabin filters” — darned if I can ever easily get at those things myself.

I was pleased with the service and yes, I would likely recommend this dealer service location to a family member or friend. Until I sat with the service rep to settle up.

We made it through the checklist review (great opportunity for future service up-selling) and after payment, my rep lowered her voice a bit and said, “You are going to get a survey regarding your experience in the next few days. If you were happy today, I would appreciate all 10s. If you want to see me here again next time, I need all 10s; otherwise they could fire me.”

Wow. Nothing like putting personal pressure on your consumer!

I haven’t confirmed it, but I suspect there are financial rewards tied to 10s; not termination for missing the mark.

Here are just three of many tips regarding what not to do with survey data collection:

1. Don’t put the fox in the hen house — Make sure there isn’t a high pressure expectation placed on the front-line associates to get surveys completed. Putting associates on the spot to push for data will often skew your results.

The encouragement and distribution of the survey is always best handled by a separate department or third party with no strong personal promotion from the staff.

2. Don’t make it individual — Good survey feedback starts with a focus on the general customer experience. Sure, there will be more specific components and roles that you might want to collect information for, but don’t make that your primary objective.

Group rewards versus individual will bring your team together and help police the whole process.

3. Don’t walk away and expect it to happen – Leadership must stay engaged in the entire survey process. The actual numbers and results are only one portion of the process. You need to analyze the information received and determine what is driving the consumer to like or not like your product/service. The ultimate goal is for your client to feel passionate enough to recommend you to a friend.

I normally prefer to focus on the positive: what to do, rather than what not to do. But my oil change experience was riddled with warning signs and I felt it would be good to share. Sometimes in our organizations we need to look for a few of these flags to spot continuous improvement opportunities.
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