When are surveys a total waste of time?


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Last Tuesday, when the big snowstorm hit the northeast, I had to travel to a conference in Philadelphia.  Coming from New York City, I would usually drive but because of the weather opted for the train so I could relax and enjoy the ride in addition to answering emails along the way.  I must have been so comfortable that upon arrival, forgot to check the seat pocket and left my Verizon mobile Air-card on the train.  Of course, I could hear my wife,  “I told you to be careful about putting things in those places, hidden from sight.”

When I arrived at the hotel and realized my mistake, I called Verizon for advice, assuming it would be difficult to find my lost Air-card because I couldn’t tell Amtrak which seat or car I had traveled in.   The representative at Verizon was pleasant enough, and told me that my all my devices were covered by insurance, but I needed to contact their insurance provider, Asurion. She gave me their telephone and website. She also told me she didn’t see my device listed, but would let me know what my deductible might be.

Just seconds after I hung up and started to unpack and before I had an opportunity to contact Asurion, the phone rang. Who called?  An automated voice asking me to participate in a survey about my recent experience with Verizon. Now, what’s the point? That’s a total waste of my time and their resources because how could I possibly rate my customer experience without the experience being finalized.

I don’t know:

  • How easy it will be to reach Asurion by phone or navigate their site
  • If my device is actually covered or not
  • What the deductible is and if it’s a fair and reasonable amount
  • How long it will take for my new device to arrive

Companies that want to measure the customer’s experience must reasonably estimate when the completion of that experience will be to obtain an accurate gage of loyalty towards the brand and their service delivery. A better timeframe would have been at least a week following the incident. After dealing with all the variables, I could then clearly articulate my total experience.

When I arrived home, I told my wife I needed to confess, both that I lost my Air-card and that she was right. Never again will I use the seat pocket to store my stuff. She gave me a pass.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Richard Shapiro
Richard R. Shapiro is Founder and President of The Center For Client Retention (TCFCR) and a leading authority in the area of customer satisfaction and loyalty. For 28 years, Richard has spearheaded the research conducted with thousands of customers from Fortune 100 and 500 companies compiling the ingredients of customer loyalty and what drives repeat business. His first book was The Welcomer Edge: Unlocking the Secrets to Repeat Business and The Endangered Customer: 8 Steps to Guarantee Repeat Business was released February, 2016.


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