Enough with the “How Did We Do?” surveys

When I returned a rental car, recently, I received a bit too friendly service, followed by a request for a favor to rate the agent a 5 on the survey that would be sent to me shortly.

I chuckled. The agent asked why.

I said, I used to work on the other side of these surveys and they lose effectiveness when you lead the customer on how to answer.

She replied, “But that’s how we get promoted and I want a promotion!”

Fair point. The problem is the incentives her company gives her. They are managing to the wrong outputs. In this case, they are promoting people who are really good at asking for 5’s rather than people who may be really good for their business.

As a customer, I feel I’ve held up my end of the bargain when I decided to use that company and paid.

It puts me off to be made to feel I owe the company and agent more of my time to rate the experience or that I should donate my time to help them make their business better.

I’ve seen these types of surveys become infiltrate the business world like buzzwords. It’s just a foregone conclusion that they must be done.

In my experience, little benefit comes from them. When I’ve asked folks at companies I’ve worked with for examples of how these types of surveys have led to changes that resulted in significant and tangible benefits, crickets.

But, they continue with the surveys because they have become conventional business wisdom and the folks whose job it is to conduct the surveys have become vested interests protecting their turf.

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