Friday, July 09, 2010



I am often asked, after I contact customer service on some issue, for feedback. It is usually a survey form.

I would love to answer the survey, but usually the form is so badly designed it is impossible to answer fairly, accurately, or correctly. (After starting to answer, it is sad to have to suddenly close the survey form without filing it.)

1- The first problem is that multiple choice questions often do not cover the correct answer, and even the closest choice is not accurate or fair. There should always be an option to answer "other" or "N/A" (not applicable) or, simply "no comment".

2- The second problem is that the issue is often not resolved during the phone call. The agent promises to do something, but whether or not that has resolved the issue is not yet determined when the survey is presented.

The questions should always allow for a distinction between the response of the agent, and the resolution of the issue.

Indeed, the survey would be a good place to allow the original issue -- and the proposed resolution -- to be re-stated, so that the company can double check the issue has in fact been resolved. A follow-up survey: "Has the issue been resolved" would actually be valuable (to both the company and the customer).

3- In addition, the survey often takes a step beyond what they need to know to ask intrusive questions (age, salary, purchasing habits, location, etc.) That's a simple no-no!

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