Archives for January 2011

Fuzzy Logic

I threw together a one question survey last week to see if I could gain some perspective on why people respond to customer satisfaction surveys and, in general, what we as consumers expect from brands in return for our effort.

For those of you that are regular readers of this blog (thanks,  Mom & Dad), you might recall I conducted a personal experiment last year where I responded to every survey I was offered, regardless of communication method.  I took over 100 surveys and 97% (rounding down) seemed to go into a black hole; meaning I got nothing back, not even an acknowledgment of response.

So, if I assume this is representative, I got to wondering why, if the reply rate is so low, do we all continue to respond.  What do we expect in return for our time and opinion.  Maybe my expectation is whacked.  So, I asked the question: “When responding to a customer satisfaction survey, what is your number one expectation?”.  And here’s what you told me.

And I thank you.  Apparently, I’m not crazy…about this, at least.  58% of you answered that you expect the company to take action on your responses and report back to you the results.  I would fall into that same category.  So, where’s the disconnect?  Let’s look at the other responses first.

This one is on the opposite end of the spectrum and, at 23%, a bit surprising.  But this group said they simply want to share information with no other expectation of engagement by the brand.

14% of you simply want the company to acknowledge receipt of your survey input.  The level of detail of the response was not explored.  So, I assume it could range from an auto-generated email to a phone call back or a knock on your front door; if your survey was geotracked.

5% of folks look for some goodies, free stuff.  And, equally surprising as the 14% bucket was that nobody (that 0% up there) expects the company to contact you to ask for more information.

So, of the 58% that want action from the company, I can assume one of those actions is not a call back.  I guess its more like – “hey, I had this problem.  Go fix it and let me know you did it”.  That makes sense, I suppose.

So, because this isn’t any type of scientific study, I’m not going to try to make any specific conclusions here.  But, as we’ve heard rumors of, data is just data if its not actionable.  So, the action item I would say falls back to companies.  58% of the respondents here expect you to take action on their feedback and report back to them.  But, according to my experiment last year, 3% of you did that.

What conclusions would you reach from this?  As a consumer?  As a brand? (don’t worry. I won’t hold you to it).

What Do You Expect from a Customer Sat Survey

Ok, I admit it.  I have writers block.  Its a combination of things that have driven me to this lowest of low points.  But, like the batter in a slump, I’ll keep coming to the plate until I connect.

With that admission, I’m asking for an intervention.  I’m asking for your help.  Last year I responded to a whole bunch of customer satisfaction surveys.  As a matter of fact, I responded to everyone I received, regardless of the company, or method.  I wasn’t sure what my hypothesis was.  I simply wanted to see what the range of responses were.  And, from that, try to determine why companies invest so much effort in these satisfaction surveys.

So, here’s where you come it.  I’d like your input.  I put a one question survey here to ask what your primary expectation is when you respond to such surveys.  This is like a rorschach test.  Don’t over analyze.  Give me your first reaction.  I’ll be back here to report the results to you and see what we come up with.