Consumer Satisfaction Survey Fatigue?
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:
- Like Mr. Maher, some seem perturbed at the volume of such requests as well as the principle of being asked to do a time-consuming chore for free;
- To some, feedback about major purchases such as trips and cars makes sense, but rating the shopping experience around more trivial purchases wasn’t worth the time;
- Others felt the surveys were a perfunctory request, the questionnaires overly scripted, and overall doubted their responses do any good.
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.”
- Bill Maher’s New Rule: Get Rid Of Customer Satisfaction Surveys (VIDEO) – Huffington Post
- For some consumers, surveys breed feedback fatigue – The Associated Press/USA Today
- Shoppers Getting Overwhelmed by Online Surveys – NBC San Diego
Discussion Questions: Does the benefit gained from retailer customer satisfaction surveys outweigh the risk of turning off customers? Are there ways to gather feedback without being so annoying?