Some business consultant somewhere has made a killing by recommending to businesses that they take surveys from consumers asking how they did.

If I get another email asking me to fill out a survey on how a firm did, I’ll scream. I’m surprised that that business consultant hasn’t taken his idea a step further, and asked consumers to fill out a survey on taking surveys.

These surveys inevitably follow the same line of questions.

How did we do today? And rate it between 1 and 10, with 1 being very unsatisfied, and 10 being very satisfied.

And then they break it down into questions on each aspect of the service, again rating it between 1 and 10.

The surveys too always contain the question about whether you’d be willing to recommend their service to another, with 1 being not at all inclined, and 10 being very inclined.

I wonder if there’s someone who actually collects all of the data and presents it in a spread sheet to some meeting or other.

I get so many of these surveys, I like to completely mess them around. I score all of the questions as 1, except for that all important one, on whether you’d recommend it a friend, as a 10.

There must be some poor demented office worker somewhere looking at the scores and trying to figure out what’s happening with the service how poor it is, how dissatisfied customers were with every aspect of their service but still want to recommend it to their friends.

Data mess

How would you present that in a spread sheet? We suck at doing our job, but people still like us.

I’m not sure the marketing analysts and brand psychologists could get their heads around that dichotomy of results coming from the survey data.

I can see these tall foreheads coming up with focus groups on how to improve every aspect of their service models based on the low scores. No doubt they’d be writing research papers for peer review journals based on brand loyalty despite having a service model that’s seemingly failing.

Can you imagine the team meetings of some poor crew or other responsible for service delivery. The team talk would be something to the effect of: “Lads, I know you’re trying really hard, but you need to pull up your socks. The feedback survey forms say you’re all doing a lousy job.”

Rating emojis

I’ve noticed that airports are now doing a similar thing, with rating emoji buttons that you press as soon as you’ve come through security. How did we do today, with a red sad face, an amber neutral face, and a green happy face. Myself, I find it hard to keep a straight face, and just hit any button at random.

I once had a long-running service issue with Liverpool Airport over parking rates. Every time I sent an email in response to their emails, I get another email asking me how they did, and asking me to complete a customer service survey. I must have filled it out 10 times, and even then it took two months before everything was resolved.

The online surveys always include a box where you are asked for any other comments, if there’s anything more you’d like to add.

I have taken to writing a standard line asking not to send any more customer service emails. Sometimes, though not always, depending on the company, you get an email thanking you for taking the time to respond to their survey, thanking you for your opinion.

And, would you please fill out the survey to help them improve service.