The downsides of customer satisfaction surveys

Customer satisfaction is the holy grail every company is looking for. In the desperate search to please their customers they multiply polls and inquiries in order to get the important insights first hand. Doing so, they overlook a possible serious “negative branch” * bothering the customers they so desperately want to please.

*a negative branch is an unexpected negative effect  or series of effects triggered by an action or decision. You may want to learn more about What is Negative Branch Reservation?

You have probably experienced this a number of times. As soon as you interacted or bought something from a company, a customer satisfaction questionnaire shows up.

I recently spent a night in a hotel affiliated to a hotel group. The very next day I got two e-mails, the first advertising the members program the second to get my opinion about my stay. I happen to speak to the hotel manager and owner directly, and share my (positive) opinion about his hotel and the nearby restaurant. My direct feedback with specific examples is probably more profitable for the owner than adding my answers to the standardized corporate statistical analytics.

These customer satisfaction inquiries, even so I perfectly know their purpose and importance, they are a bit too numerous and sometimes somewhat too aggressive.

There was this purchase on-line for which I got an invitation to assess the website friendliness right after, and the list goes on.

I happen to change the tires of my (so-called “premium brand”) car before winter and have them exchanged again beginning of spring. Before I even left the garage, I had an e-mail on my smartphone inviting me to assess the service. Of course, the very same inquiry came in a few months later when tires were changed again.

Sure, it is important to insure consistency, thus to regular check of the ongoing customer satisfaction, but do people planning these inquiries imagine how, passed a certain number of such “invitations” they s*ck?

It is nothing new as my check on my favorite internet search engine confirmed. Despite the evidence most of these surveys are just an annoyance, they keep arriving.

This post is useless, but is my way to get rid of the bad temper.

Now, if you’d be so kind and answer my survey…


View Christian HOHMANN's profile on LinkedIn

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