Customer satisfaction survey fatigue

Anyone else?

Recently had a trip and got these surveys from the airline, hotel and rental car company the day I returned. If I thought they paid any attention at all, I might answer. If I have a bitch, I probably won’t because in my experience, when they ask “If you weren’t completely satisfied would you like us to contact you?” no one ever does.

And it’s takes just too damn long. Listen peeps, I can tell when you’re asking the same question over and over and just changing it up a little. No more than 5 questions and what the hell is up with making me check the “Does not apply” boxes for 15 things that didn’t apply?

And the 40-foot cash register receipts that include the URL for the survey for whatever store, and makes the poor checker circle it and plead with you to fill it out. Again, if I circle or press not happy, are you going to try to find out why? Never has happened to me.

They’re just everywhere. I’m in communications, I understand the value of feedback, and used to happily comply, but no more–they’ve exhausted my patience.

I’ve stopped responding to anything of this ilk that the airlines send me after a flight. If I commend them on some service, they eliminate it or charge more for it. If I berate them on something, they make that something happen more frequently and charge me more for it.

So rather than believe they ignore my responses, I’ve come to believe that they pay very close attention to them and react with an equal, but opposite degree of intensity to everything I say.

Ever other website I visit has a pop-up nag appear when I first open the page, usually from Foresee, asking for feedback on the site. It’s really annoying.

I hate it too, and am now very cynical because of prior experiences:

The time I called some company with a problem that they needed to research and call me back on. Because the agent was nice, when their system sent me the survey immediately after the call, I filled it out. The agent never did get back to me, so I wanted to revoke the high marks I gave him for good service. They need to send the survey after the issue is RESOLVED, not after your first contact.

The hundreds of surveys that clearly target a specific answer and don’t let you type in any comments or provide any feedback outside of the very specific compliments they’re fishing for. I HATE those!

Decades ago I was a computer programmer and worked on Digital Equipment Corporation stuff. Loved it to pieces! We (the people who used DEC equipment) used to compare notes on Usenet, back before the Web was invented. We discovered that we had a pretty universal experience where the DEC field reps were awesomely responsive, prompt and accurate, but the sales reps were never to be found. So if you had a problem, the field reps would fix it pronto but if you wanted to buy new kit, you were out of luck. We found that whenever we filled out the surveys criticizing the sales team, the field reps would get punished!

Sleep Number (Select Comfort) has an app that they’ve must have invested a lot of money into because they are pushing the damn thing like crazy.
I already told the sales guy “no” at the time of purchase last year.
Then the other day I get a call from them asking me to do a survey in which I would be reimbursed for my participation.
After answering questions for 10 minutes he started a pitch for their “sleep app” again. The follow up question being “what would your interest level be in this app?” Very, somewhat likely, somewhat unlikely, not likely.
After answering “Not likely” the guy quickly informed that I did not qualify for this survey and in turn did not qualify for any reimbursement.
Thanks for wasting my time asshats.

When I get my Prius serviced at the dealer, the service guy often tells me something like, “In a few days, you’ll get a survey from Toyota. Just remember that they consider anything less than an 'Excellent” rating the same as ‘Poor’, so let us know if you have any complaints…" Don’t enlist me in your petty HR bullshit.

You bought a mattress and now they are pushing a smartphone app? What possible use could such a thing be?

Yes, that totally grates on me–car dealers seem the worst for that

Or the local grocery, part of Kroger, who offered a new car to some lucky employee who got someone to fill out a survey. All the youngsters at my local got so excited. The poor kids at my store do realize that Kroger employees nationwide are hoping to win that car too?

I sometimes use Uber, and before you book a new ride you HAVE to rate your previous driver. Apparently anything less than five stars negatively impacts the driver, so either your ride was perfect or it was bad. Maybe I just found the driver too talkative, am I supposed to punish him for that?

And hospitals!

After a sometimes stressing “procedure,” nothing like getting a phone call within 48 hours begging for feedback and/or being notified that there’s a customer satisfaction “survey” soon to arrive in the mail.

Wow, that’s right up there with all the little kids who go door-to-door selling magazine subscriptions so they can win a trip to Disney World.

I get surveys rather regularly from my HMO after an appointment.

Just as JcWoman says, they only ask the particular questions they want to ask, and are clearly fishing for compliments. The questions often ask about perfunctory things: Was the waiting room neat and clean? and other petty stuff like that.

Typically, if I one ever has a complaint, it’s going to be about some specific thing that was wrong – something that happened that shouldn’t have, or something that didn’t happen that should have, or a snotty doctor or receptionist or something. But if you have some specific complain, you’ll never see a specific question addressing that on a survey. Just very general questions.

OTOH, on the other hand, notwithstanding and nevertheless . . . On several occasional, after some kind of “stressing procedure”, I’ve gotten a phone call at home that evening from the doctor or dentist himself, asking me how-goes-it. That’s very different from the idiotic surveys, and generally appreciated.

The hospital staff hate them too. My wife is subject to one type of these surveys. She has routine meetings with her department head about them. If she gets 99 positive patient comments and 1 negative, the whole meeting is devoted to the negative. Her management literally ignores the positive comments. And when you’re seeing people who are, oh I don’t know, sick and in the damned hospital, you’re going to get some negative feedback no matter what you do. Because no one is happy when they are in the hospital.

I was going to mention this tactic - I agree - very annoying.

Tangent: I complained about the train being delayed once on their website (I reached out to them). A few days later, a real person called me to ask about my comment, and I was honest with them, and stated they could have handled the delay better for passengers. A few days after that, I got a 20% off coupon in the mail. Some time after that there was another delay, and I again complained to them online, and got a call from (I think) the same CSR, but no coupon this time.

I often wonder, if you’re in marketing, do you really want feedback from people who have nothing better to do than fill out surveys? You’re probably not hitting the coveted “affluent 25-to-49” demographic.

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I fill out the grocery store feedback surveys, when they appear on my reciepts. That’s because I get fifty points towards gas purchses. Ten cents for every one hundred points. I wouldn’t fill them out if it wasn’t that my gas purchases are usually thirty cents per gallon lower when I do fill the surveys.

Agree. If there is something immediately promised, I may fill one out. I did one from a local restaurant chain and got a coupon (code) for a free side dish at my next visit. If they don’t clearly indicate what’s in it for me, and I want it, I pass.

I really hate this ‘has to be five stars or it’s crap’ thing. It kind of negates the whole point of having a five star system. If you’re going to do that, then why not just have two stars?

eBay is bad for that. Sellers get dinged by eBay if they get too many less than five star feedbacks, so now if I buy something and I’m at least reasonably happy-ish with the seller, I’ll give them five stars so as not to actually punish them. But I’d much prefer to use the system properly. The stuff turned up when they said it would? Why is that worth five stars? That’s three, or maybe four at best. Five stars should be reserved for those sellers that really excel (turns up a day or two earlier, nicely packaged, maybe with a free bag of sweets, for example).
As it is, a meh seller gets exactly the same rating as an excellent one, which effectively gives the illusion that all sellers are either bad or average.

I hate that about ebay reviews, too. Sellers practically turn to threats to get you to give them 5-star feedback. I got all kinds of grief because I was handing out 4-star reviews for everyday good service of the type I’d expect, and reserving the 5-stars for service above and beyond the call. I got several quite hateful emails about why, if I had such problems with the transaction, didn’t I contact the seller? But… but… I DIDN’T have problems. I just had a normal, expected transaction, so I gave out what equated to an above-average rating in my mind.