If one more company asks me on a scale of 1 to 5 how I feel about their product, service, personnel or the conversation I had with them, I think I will S C R E A M !
Okay, I get it. In fact, I use to send out customer surveys way back when I was a working person and involved in the marketing of my company’s products. Back then, such surveys were uncommon so when someone received one, they were prone to fill it out and send it back to the company. We didn’t have the luxury of doing the survey on a computer. We had to have the survey formally printed on a post card, then snail mail it to the recipient and wait for the person to snail mail it back. The return rate while okay, wasn’t anything astronomical. I thought maybe we should send out a follow-up survey asking folks what they thought about our survey. No one else thought that was a good idea.
If there is one thing you can count on in the marketing process USA-style it’s duplication. Once someone comes up with a new and innovative idea it won’t retain that status very long. If it is a good idea then you will begin seeing it used by everyone everywhere. This is what has happened with the survey. It is almost impossible to have any kind of relationship with a company and NOT receive a survey asking you all kinds of questions about your experience.
I have adopted a universal survey boycott. I answer none of them. If they come in my e-mail….delete! If they arrive in my snail mailbox…trashcan! If someone calls with a survey….goodbye! Maybe, just maybe, if someone used a new format, maybe maybe maybe I’d fill it out. I though toilet paper might be a good survey medium. Each square would have its own question. I mean, you’re sitting there with not much to do and what a great time to opinionate. No one else thinks this is good idea either.
I admit there have been times when I have been tempted to fill out a survey, but usually I cut to the chase. I skip all the Q&A stuff and I go directly to the little block of white space at the end where you can actually enter comments. That’s where I tell AT&T that waiting on hold for over a half-hour until a representative was done helping someone else and was ready to talk to me, is not only very frustrating, but having to listen to their music-on-hold for that amount of time was enough to make you want to blow your brains out. Which brings me to another area to vent about. Here is a business opportunity for you. There needs to be a company that manufactures a decent music-on-hold product. First, the music has to be “neutral” but pleasing (that’s a very subjective requirement) and second (but I should have put it first) the quality has to excellent. Not only is AT&T’s music-on-hold a loud and lousy selection of blaring saxophone, the quality is enough to make your inner ear implode. After hearing it over and over and over and over and over and over, etc., you are tempted to say the hell with the problem you called about and hang up. It’s simply not worth it. And even then, after you’ve suffered through on-hold forrrevvvvvver, finally someone is there to assist you…but you cannot understand a word they say because their accent is so thick. But that’s okay because you can eventually tell his or her boss how difficult it was to resolve your problem because you could not comprehend a damn thing the support person said to you. And how do you do that? On the survey, of course! Trust me…you will get one.