Customer DISsatisfaction — when surveys create disgruntled clients


Recently I wrote a blog about people taking time off from all things digital (Facebook, mobile phones, etc. Read the blog here).

I have also been reading about people complaining about customer satisfaction surveys. Common complaints include the surveys taking too long to complete, asking generic questions, and phrasing questions to lead the participant into saying positive things about the company. I read an interesting blog here about internal surveys that are impersonal, and the writer says, impersonal.

I believe there is another problem with surveys — there are too many of them.

I began thinking about the glut of surveys when I received an email request to fill out a survey for a writing group meeting I attended. I already was getting bombarded with emails regarding meeting dates for other area writing groups, and I got upset to receive yet another email, this one asking me to rate my experience from the meeting. Writing groups are voluntary events. You go if you want to go, and you don’t go if you do not want to go. If you’re going to ask someone to rate a writing group experience, what’s next, creating a survey for a Little League game?

Thinking of the absurdity of being asked to comment on this experience led me to remember another absurd survey experience. About a month ago I received a phone call from a company doing a survey on behalf of a hospital where I was treated for a medical emergency. The caller said the survey would take five minutes; I agreed to take the survey because I was very satisfied with my hospital stay. While I did not time the length of the call, the survey dragged on and on to the point where I was tempted to just end the call (I believe it took longer than the promised time). Many of the questions were repetitive, and some were worded to lead the respondent into saying what a great place the hospital was (can you say cheesy PR campaign?).

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About Jason Reynolds
I'm a reporter, blogger, husband and aspiring author. When I'm not working, spending time with the family, or reading (which is quite a bit), I enjoy cooking, traveling, photography and wrangling my family's cats and chickens.

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