The Tyranny of Customer Service Surveys



  • Re: The Official Funny Stuff Thread™
    @darth_llama said in The Official Funny Stuff Thread™:

    @Tsaukpaetra most hotel inkeeper laws make you show and ID in the us. I used to be front desk agent. They take a photo copy and keep it on file. So unless hes rolling fake credentials they just put it down. However there are enough shady places he just screwed up by choosing the wrong place.... Or was a dick to front desk agent.

    More and more companies are adding "how are we doing" customer service surveys. Those surveys are not about ratings: give someone a 1 and watch the consternation. The surveys are about getting you to vote all 5's and thereby changing any possible "misconception" you might have about the business, so you will buy again.

    Take what just happened to me. When I close a ticket, the "affected user" gets a survey. I have 3 tickets closed and each survey has 5 questions. One question out of 15 is answered with a 4 (instead of the maximum 5, which is perfect) so now my average is 4.93 and my team's average is 4.96. Otherwise our average would be a flat 5.

    There 5 people on my team, who closed about 30 tickets. If the team average were across the tickets and one question is a 4, that would average 4.993. But the average isn't of all the tickets, but the individual member scores; so the team average came out 4.96.

    So one 4 in all my 25 questions ruined my entire team's score. My manager tried to minimize it, but it's clear I am noticed.

    Okay, first question, show of hands: how many of you think we earned 5 on every one of the 150 questions on 29 tickets?

    How do you think I feel?

    How do you think the average person is likely to respond? Never mind, I can tell you that: because I've been told by people who responded to tickets created by me: "Please vote all 5's." Oh, not in so many words, but the pleading is clear.

    Do you think we are learning anything useful from these customer service surveys?

    No? Then why have them?

    This is why: they are about changing perception.

    You're filling out a survey for the restaurant you just ate at. Do you give them a bad score? If you do, they will know who did that. (I know who gave me the bad score--that's right, not anonymous.) At best, they will give you dirty looks.They might give you sly bad service. Some companies will sue.

    Decision time: you going to give anything less than a 5..perfect in all categories? No?

    You just changed your own perception. Even if you got bad service, you argued yourself into giving them all 5's because giving them anything else is embarrassing and maybe worse. But if you argued yourself into giving them all 5's then any idea of bad service you had must have been exaggerated, right? So maybe the service was better than you first thought.

    Absolute genius: getting the customer to change their own mind by giving them a survey they need to answer with 5's.



  • @CoyneTheDup said in The Tyranny of Customer Service Surveys:

    Those surveys are not about ratings: give someone a 1 and watch the consternation. The surveys are about getting you to vote all 5's and thereby changing any possible "misconception" you might have about the business, so you will buy again.

    Some years ago, I bought something off an Amazon seller. Later on I got one of those emails asking me to indicate my satisfaction with the order. Since I got exactly what I ordered and within the stated timeframe, but received the item on the very last day of that timeframe, I gave them 3 out of 5. To my way of thinking, I was indicating average satisfaction with them — not dissatisfaction by giving them a 1 or a 2, and not saying I’m exceedingly happy by giving a 4 or a 5.

    Not long after, I received this from the seller:

    I apologize that this took a bit longer than you had expected. In light of this I have refunded you for the cost of shipping for a total of £4.02, I hope that this helps alleviate any inconvenience this has created for you.

    If this helps resolve the order I do hope that you will consider removing the negative rating you left on Amazon as it is severely and actively damaging our seller rating. Please let us know if you will be willing to work with us on this or if you have any further questions or concerns.

    TDIL you’re supposed to always give 5 out of 5 when filling out customer surveys.

    @CoyneTheDup said in The Tyranny of Customer Service Surveys:

    You're filling out a survey for the restaurant you just ate at. Do you give them a bad score? If you do, they will know who did that. (I know who gave me the bad score--that's right, not anonymous.) At best, they will give you dirty looks.

    Around here, restaurant staff will generally ask you how the food was when you’ve finished. Just about everyone will reply that it was fine, even when they really think it wasn’t. I have a feeling it’s social pressure: the waiter is right there, so they don’t want to be impolite by saying there was something wrong with the food.



  • I would venture a guess that even if you gave a 1, you would be satisfied that you 'told them off', and that would be the end of the matter for you -i.e. would buy from them again. Without the ability of giving that 1, you are more likely to carry a grudge.



  • I remember one of these where I used to work about performance ratings. We had several major categories of ratings, each made up of a number of sub-categories, each of which in return made of a list of individual items. At every level, we were told that the ratings 1 to 4 meant:

    1 - Greatly exceeded all standards
    2 - Met all standards and exceeded some
    3 - Met all standards
    4 - Failed to meet all standards

    Now, if you got a 4 on one of the lowest tier of grades, that should mean that the higher tiers that included that should also be a 4. After all, you can't meet all standards at level n if you failed to meet all standards on any part of level n+1.

    And likewise, if you scored a 3 on all but one of the lowest level grades, and a 2 in that one, the aggregate higher level that included the 2 should also get a 2 overall, and the one above that as well, and so on.

    Yet, I couldn't get it into anybody's head that it should be virtually impossible to get anything higher than a 3 on the overall rating. And you should have to get all 2s at the lowest level to have any chance of a 2 at the top. Instead they insisted on averaging all the scores at one level to come up with the score for the level above it.

    (NB: there was a 5 rating too, but that basically meant they were about to turn you over to the police and wash their hands of you.)



  • @Gurth said in The Tyranny of Customer Service Surveys:

    I have a feeling it’s social pressure: the waiter is right there, so they don’t want to be impolite by saying there was something wrong with the food.

    Fuck that. I straight up tell them.

    I'll go tell them if there isn't a survey.

    There's a chain I like, and one of them was shit compared to the others. I walked right up to the manager and was like, "You're not as good as the other locations. You're at [restaurant chain everyone knows is cheap food] level. It's probably why you don't have lines out the place like the others."

    If I get worse service because of that, I don't go back. In fact, that's usually the point where I'm not going back anyway... at least not for a month or so.

    But, a lot of shit is like that.

    Drive throughs implemented a timer to capture their performance. What ended up happening? They just asked people to pull forward to deliver the order and started walking orders out of the store like Sonic.

    Now, before you say, "but xaade, you probably had a long order", no. For a long time it was every order. I ordered a side salad. That's a "pull that out of the fridge and hand it over" order, and they had me pull forward. Then I started with, "no, I don't have a complex order, not going to pull forward", because they were letting all orders take like 30 mins, for a side salad. That backfired one day, bad. The person at the window yelled out to everyone what I was doing. And, mind you, this was for another small order, like a 1 breakfast burrito. I have no idea, because everyone else was getting theirs as soon as they pulled up. Now I just don't use drive throughs for the most part. I walk in or go to walk in places. Thank you, performance timer, you made service worse for everyone. Instead of speeding up, it was delaying and extended wait times, because you had to wait until they felt so inclined to walk out of the store.

    It's gotten better for the most part, now. Now it's just on long orders or orders where they have to fry up a new batch, and they'll tell you why now. I started occasionally using a drive through again, but it had gotten really bad at one point, to where most places were having everyone pull forward.

    Oh, and fuck Sonic. They'll make you wait 30 mins for every order. I watched my order on the delivery bar get cold for 20 mins. I only ever stop there for limeades now.



  • @CoyneTheDup said in The Tyranny of Customer Service Surveys:

    Some companies will sue.

    Comments written publicly meant discourage future customers are quite different from comments written on a feedback survey meant for employees. I can see why they conceivably might feel justified in suing for the former, but not the latter.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    I don't do surveys. Period.



  • @Gurth Those Amazon sellers all come from the ebay ecosystem where "A+" isn't good enough, it has to be "A++++++++++++++++" and "99.99995% positive feedback" all the time forever.


  • Fake News

    @CoyneTheDup said in The Tyranny of Customer Service Surveys:

    More and more companies are adding "how are we doing" customer service surveys. Those surveys are not about ratings: give someone a 1 and watch the consternation. The surveys are about getting you to vote all 5's and thereby changing any possible "misconception" you might have about the business, so you will buy again.

    Oh so it's a SNAFU poll. Anything above 3 should be fine for $deity's sake!



  • @anotherusername said in The Tyranny of Customer Service Surveys:

    @CoyneTheDup said in The Tyranny of Customer Service Surveys:

    Some companies will sue.

    Comments written publicly meant discourage future customers are quite different from comments written on a feedback survey meant for employees. I can see why they conceivably might feel justified in suing for the former, but not the latter.

    No, but in that environment there's the quid pro quo syndrome. If I downrate someone, what happens if I need something in the future? My team? My manager is trying to work something out with their manager?

    Even in the case of the question I got downrated on, I know who did it and--i hope--it won't affect my service to them in the future, but I can't help but remember...


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @xaade said in The Tyranny of Customer Service Surveys:

    Oh, and fuck Sonic.

    I am not going to GIS that phrase!



  • @CoyneTheDup said in The Tyranny of Customer Service Surveys:

    If I downrate someone,

    You shouldn't continue to intend to do business with them.

    If it's something that can be resolved in private, then do so.

    You downvote to warn other people.



  • @anotherusername said in The Tyranny of Customer Service Surveys:

    @CoyneTheDup said in The Tyranny of Customer Service Surveys:

    Some companies will sue.

    Comments written publicly meant discourage future customers are quite different from comments written on a feedback survey meant for employees. I can see why they conceivably might feel justified in suing for the former, but not the latter.

    Even the former doesn't justify litigation. Companies that try to forbid negative reviews or even enforce positive ones get hammered regularly.


  • BINNED

    @Khudzlin They tend to get a big Streisand effect



  • @Khudzlin said in The Tyranny of Customer Service Surveys:

    Even the former doesn't justify litigation.

    It does if the statements are false and malicious.



  • @anotherusername But not if they're opinions or hyperbole (speaking about US law).


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