In one of his "New Rules" segments on his hit HBO show, comedian Bill Maher took on the practice of companies asking consumers to take a "short survey" to rate their customer experience.
He tells the nameless company, "I'd love to help you improve your customer relations. But a) I don't work for you and b) I don't give a (expletive). You know, I was actually pretty happy with your customer service, up to the point where you asked me to take a survey about your customer service."
The joke went viral after the video was posted on Huffington Post in 2010. Some have used the video to illustrate the backlash against such requests,
Two separate articles this year by The Associated Press and NBC San Diego listed a variety of reasons why customer satisfaction surveys can irritate consumers:
Any rising complaints comes as satisfaction surveys have risen in recent years because of technology as well as a greater zest by brands to seek out and learn from customer input.
Jack in the Box, which includes online survey requests on the bottom of their receipts, gets a survey back every 25 seconds, resulting in more than a million responses every year. Within an hour-and-a-half, the restaurant manager, district manager and franchise owner all receive e-mail alerts if there was a problem during a customer visit. As an incentive, those filling out an online survey enter a contest to win up to $10,000.
"There is a lot that guests want to say to us," Eric Tunquist, VP of operations, told NBC San Diego.
Some responders also find value in the process.
Seth Miller, an information technology consultant and travel blogger, finds customer surveys sometimes bring specific responses. He told The Associated Press, "Feedback surveys can offer an easy and efficient way to raise an issue."
How often should retailers ask shoppers to participate in customer satisfaction surveys?