Customer Surveys: Is there anybody out there?

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These days it seems like there are customer surveys everywhere, everyone wants to know how you felt about your meal, the service, the delivery, the shirt you’ve just bought etc. It almost seems strange if someone doesn’t want to know, but with all pages of questions most customers have to answer, what you really want to know is; is someone listening to me? Is there anybody out there?

If you were having a conversation with someone, there are a number of things you can do to check if they are listening. You can normally tell by their body language, if they’re listening they’d be looking at you, maybe leaning forward and possibly tilting their head to one side, however if they’re leaning back, arms crossed, gazing round the room, then it’s very likely that what you’re saying has passed them by.

But when completing a customer satisfaction survey, you’re not face to face with someone, making it feel like a widening gap between you and the organisation you’re giving feedback to.

Again, face to face or over the phone, you would expect the other person to interject from time to time, at least with a “yes” or even an “uh-huh”. So this works in a two-way situation, but giving feedback is rarely like that, even if you’ve been phoned to do a survey it’s usually conducted by a third party company who have a script to stick to, so aren’t in a position to respond.

One final test is if they can repeat back what you said. Ah, that’s another thing a customer satisfaction survey won’t normally do.

If you don’t feel that someone is listening then you’re not likely to continue talking.

So how can these organisations make you feel that the effort you’re making to respond is actually worth it?

Apart from the obvious of it being quick, easy & convenient to give feedback (say just a few of your own words or comments using whichever channel is at hand) then a response would be a good start. A quick thank you by text or email so you know they’ve at least got the information. Better still, rather than a generic thank you, something that acknowledges if you’ve had a bad time with an apology. Both of which are great, but best of all would be a follow up to show not only have they listened to what you’ve said, but they have taken action – say, changed the design of the pizza box to keep the pizza warm for longer, put back your favourite choice on their menu or praised that nice customer services lady who was so helpful.

By doing the above, you’d really know someone was there, paying attention and be far more willing to give feedback in future.

Julie Stubbs
Rant & Rave
Finance Director at Rant & Rave. Rant & Rave provides customer engagement solutions with a difference. Created with the belief that fundamentally brands and consumers want the same thing - to deliver and receive great service - half of the FTSE rely on the Rant & Rave platform to proactively communicate with and listen to the Voice of the Customer.

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