In the past year, it seems that customer surveys have been a trend that has spread to almost every retailer. Almost every store seems to be soliciting a survey on their receipt with an offer for a dollar off your next purchase or a chance to win $10,000. In fact, I think it has become so ubiquitous that customers have learned to tune it out. When was the last time you called a 1-800 number listed on the back of a receipt to spend your valuable time to give feedback to a company for a dollar coupon. Rating different aspects of service on a scale of 1-5, gives very little information on how to make the experience better. All it tells the company is if they are doing well or poorly, but not why.
If a company wants to find out how they are doing on customer service, superficial surveys are not going to give a very accurate picture. They are usually flawed because they are not a random sample if they have any type of incentive to participate. A much better way to find out how you are doing is to monitor the web to see what people are saying about you or even placing a suggestion box in a visible location. Tools like Twitter and blogs greatly amplify the power of word of mouth and it is very easy for companies to monitor what is being said to gather feedback on what can be changed or improved. What if you established a company blog that focused on solving customer issues, thus creating a conversation with customers about your products. Customer service surveys are obsolete and worthless when compared to other ways of learning about your customers.
Photo by Robyn Gallagher