I once managed Customer Research for a financial institution client.
We were doing quarterly surveys of home loan customers. Four consecutive quarterly surveys told us that a person in the department was a stone-cold five-letter word. Fully one-third of the respondents complained this employee was abusing customers calling with questions about the status of their loan. Some of the respondents were customers. Others were Realtors. Some of the respondents were so angry they included their contact information in the survey reply, pointedly asking for a response from management.
The question is: after four consecutive quarterly surveys, why is that employee still in that position?
Why would management not, at least, transfer the employee into a non-customer facing position?
A bigger question is: why would the institution tolerate that kind of anti-customer behavior?
The biggest question is: why continue surveying customer satisfaction when you clearly do not care about the results?
It is ironic. A company will raise the right hand and swear that customer satisfaction is “of paramount concern”. Then, turn around and ignore the results of the research. (The same issue arises in Employee Surveys. Time after time, survey after survey, management does not respond to Employee suggestions, concerns and questions.)
If your response rate to surveys is lower than you wish, the first place to look for the problem is if you have the reputation of not acting on information you have received. How many times do you want respondents to tell you their issues before you take it seriously?
So, here’s the only good reason I know to stop doing customer satisfaction research: If you do not intend to act on customer responses, stop dancing and turn off the music.
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