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Increasing requests to complete surveys for purchases and services

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RichT54

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I've been noticing that companies and organisations are increasingly asking me to complete surveys on how I would rate a recent purchase or use of a service.

Today I went to the local GPs' surgery for a flu vaccination and a couple of hours later I received a text asking me to complete an online survey. Last week my car was serviced and put through the MOT and I later had a phone call from someone at the dealership pleading with me to give them a 10/10 rating. The service and MOT went through without a problem and I felt like they should get a good review but I didn't appreciate having my arm twisted to give a maximum score. Then a few days later the same guy phoned me again and started going through the same spiel, which was rather annoying. He claimed that he had forgotten he had already called me.

Quite often when I do try to fill in a survey I find the questions are worded in such a way that you can't give an accurate answer. For example, in the car survey I was asked to enter the reason for my visit, but you could only select one from a list which included 'Service' and 'MOT', but you couldn't select both. In addition, they often say things like "this should only take a few minutes", but then it goes on and on for many pages.

I wonder what percentage of people actually bother to complete these surveys and whether they really provide any useful feedback to the providers?
 
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Cowley

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Funny you should mention it but I’ve had two just today.
I generally don’t do them unless it’s something I’m particularly interested in or if I’ve had particularly bad or good service. Too time consuming in a life that’s busy enough.
 

DB

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Every single Teams call asks you to rate the call quality at the end. Why? Their telemetry will show them this objectively.
 

Mojo

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I was most surprised to fill in a survey for Waitrose a few months ago to receive a personalised reply from the shop manager a few hours later. Was quite good though as I was somewhat brusque in some of my comments as I don't usually expect textual responses to be read let alone responded to!

As a rule however I don't normally do surveys as enough companies are willing to offer rewards for doing surveys so unless something particularly bothers me on a regular basis then I usually decline.
 

PeterC

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Every single Teams call asks you to rate the call quality at the end. Why? Their telemetry will show them this objectively.
Presumably they also want to know the customer's subjective view. It is the customer's peception of the service level that drives repeat business, or the lack of it.
 

DB

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Presumably they also want to know the customer's subjective view. It is the customer's peception of the service level that drives repeat business, or the lack of it.

It ain't going to make any difference to Microsoft what people think. The expansion of Teams will continue whatever as it has no real competition - there are services which can do some of what it does, but none which can do all of it.
 

Domh245

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The telemetry can show them things objective things like what the bandwidth was and how many packets were dropped, but it the data that came through for the user was any good. I expect that they do all sorts of trickery with compression, noise cancellation, etc, and it's feedback on that rather than the actual transmission that they're after
 

trainophile

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I did a Twitter one on Birmingham New Street (think it was Network Rail's) the other day, and it was quite good in that after every answer (which was to rate various things from excellent to terrible) there was a box asking you to explain why you selected the option you chose. It made me think that a human being might actually look at the responses, and take the points made on board.

I have given up completing the Travelodge and Premier Inns ones, I feel they are just fishing for compliments. And as for the dentist... it's bad enough having to pay a fortune to go there, without having to tell them how I found the experience!
 

High Dyke

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I did a Twitter one on Birmingham New Street (think it was Network Rail's) the other day, and it was quite good in that after every answer (which was to rate various things from excellent to terrible) there was a box asking you to explain why you selected the option you chose. It made me think that a human being might actually look at the responses, and take the points made on board.

I have given up completing the Travelodge and Premier Inns ones, I feel they are just fishing for compliments. And as for the dentist... it's bad enough having to pay a fortune to go there, without having to tell them how I found the experience!
I usually ignore most of these types of surveys, or alternatively give irrelevant answers. However, mention of Travelodge reminds what the manager of one location told me. If you didn't give them a 9 of 10 rating then the manager of that location didn't get any feedback from their superior about guest experiences.
 

py_megapixel

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It ain't going to make any difference to Microsoft what people think. The expansion of Teams will continue whatever as it has no real competition - there are services which can do some of what it does, but none which can do all of it.
Slack can essentially do all of it... it's not an identical experience to Teams, but the functionality is there. Teams isn't even particularly spectacular - it does after all share a reasonable amount of its back-end with Skype, which isn't a particularly reliable platform in and of itself. I'd give it a solid "good enough"...

No, the reason organisations like Teams is that it comes bundled for free with the Microsoft Office licenses that they already have, so they don't have to faff around getting set up on a different platform (and of course it saves them some money too).

Which brings me to another point about Microsoft's near-monopoly in the personal computing space. I could go on about that at length, but that would be a digression from this thread, so I've created a new one:

 

DB

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Slack can essentially do all of it... it's not an identical experience to Teams, but the functionality is there. Teams isn't even particularly spectacular - it does after all share a reasonable amount of its back-end with Skype, which isn't a particularly reliable platform in and of itself. I'd give it a solid "good enough"...

No, the reason organisations like Teams is that it comes bundled for free with the Microsoft Office licenses that they already have, so they don't have to faff around getting set up on a different platform (and of course it saves them some money too).

Which brings me to another point about Microsoft's near-monopoly in the personal computing space. I could go on about that at length, but that would be a digression from this thread, so I've created a new one:


Slack doesn't have the integration with other Microsoft services which Teams does, e.g. Sharepoint, mailboxes.
 

Peter Mugridge

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I did a Twitter one on Birmingham New Street (think it was Network Rail's) the other day, and it was quite good in that after every answer (which was to rate various things from excellent to terrible) there was a box asking you to explain why you selected the option you chose.
Ah... I filled in that one... I had a right go at them over the middle footbridge and barrier lines thing and the confusingly cluttered lounge arrangements...
 

py_megapixel

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Always rather amusing when there are loaded questions - such as options are along the lines of:

How was our service today?
  • Amazing
  • Great
  • Good
  • Satisfactory
 
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I used to work for a company whose goal was 'customer delight'. I'm sorry, but I really didn't like that expression. If I take my car in for a service, what do I expect?. I expect it to be done properly, on time and at the correct cost. If that is performed, I am happy, I am not delighted. To be delighted it has to be really exceptional and that is unlikely to happen.

We really have gone feedback mad. Almost every time I buy anything on line I get a follow up email asking for feedback It isn't like it used to be, when sellers were desperate for good rating. It may have been that at that time a no response was considered to be a bad rating, and it may have changed. Generally, I won't rate sales, but I will rate people I pay for work done on my property.

The one i find really annoying is the one from the Doctor's surgery or hospital which asks if you would recommend their services to other people. As we have no choice about the Doctor as there is only one practice in town, and it tends to be pot luck which doctor you see (in normal circumstances) it is rathe r pointless. The one for the hospital isn't quite as bad, as , although you generally have to go to to a local hospital, it is fair to be able to comment on cleanliness, nursing care, and particularly (after my wife's visit to hospital for an operation) the extremely poor food. And whilst on the subject hospitals do not seem to be able to cater for people who have come in during the day, or who have had operations which mean thay cannot eat at normal mealtimes. It also means that patients who are being discharged have to order meals that they (hopefully) will not need so that there may be spare meals for any new arrivals.
 

DB

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I used to work for a company whose goal was 'customer delight'. I'm sorry, but I really didn't like that expression. If I take my car in for a service, what do I expect?. I expect it to be done properly, on time and at the correct cost. If that is performed, I am happy, I am not delighted. To be delighted it has to be really exceptional and that is unlikely to happen.

I had a manager once for a short period who insisted that our aim was to 'delight' users (this is in IT support). Clearly he's never directly dealt with users - if it doesn't work they complain, and if it does they just accept it as the norm - that's just how it is. They are never going to be 'delighted' because Windows is behaving today or the printer hasn't had a tantrum.

In a lot of companies, account managers are now 'Customer Success Managers'. Do they think this sort of drivel actually impresses anyone?
 

TheEdge

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To steal from a meme "Microsoft need to understand people don't have conversations where they recommend operating systems to each other"

And its true over so many of these services.
 

swt_passenger

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Q. “Would you recommend us to your friends and relatives?”
A. “Yes, but only if you pay me a substantial part of your vast advertising budget.”

Q. “How did you find our delivery person“?
A. “He was on my doorstep, it was quite convenient because the doorbell had just rung!”
 

Trackman

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.... later had a phone call from someone at the dealership pleading with me to give them a 10/10 rating.
Funny that, I picked up a brand new car from a Ford dealership and was given a lecture on how to fill the survey out.. everything must be 'outstanding' (or whatever) as Ford bosses are apparently funny about 'very good'.
This was a good cue for me to mention the floor mats I asked him to throw in for free.
 

Peter Mugridge

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Funny that, I picked up a brand new car from a Ford dealership and was given a lecture on how to fill the survey out.. everything must be 'outstanding' (or whatever) as Ford bosses are apparently funny about 'very good'.
This was a good cue for me to mention the floor mats I asked him to throw in for free.
Now if I'd had that, when asked to comment on why I had rated them "outstanding" I would have written in every box that the dealer had instructed you to tick "outstanding" on everything regardless of how poor it actually was.
 

Gloster

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As I don’t have an online presence (if that is the correct word) and don’t buy much online (one item this year and only two books ever before), I don’t get many surveys. I occasionally find them in DVDs bought in charity shops; I am tempted to fill them in and send them off as the closing date is usually years ago. One of the few I did fill in was one from the hospital which I received - in triplicate - after a lengthy stay. Most of the options for answers were vague and there was not enough space to put in any constructive answers or suggestions. At least the last daily menu selection sheet had had a small space for comments where I could thank the kitchen staff and compliment them on the puddings.
 

JohnMcL7

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I've noticed this as well as it feels like it's getting a bit ridiculous with many purchases triggering a request to fill in a survey or write a review on the product with no reward or incentive whatsoever. The promise of being put into a draw for some prize wasn't much better but at least it was something.

I went to see a car earlier in the year at a Carsupermarket and they were so bad I went from planning to buying the car to deciding never to buy a car from them. Shortly after I received a request for a survey since they prided themselves on being the best at making customers happy (or some garbage like that) so I filled in the survey honestly and ticked that I was ok for a follow up admittedly because I was curious if they'd do anything. I wasn't surprised when there was no further contact from them.
 

philjo

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Hertfordshire Trading Standards recently issued a reminder to be wary of questionnaires/surveys, particularly those used in completions for answering non relevant questions such as pet’s name, favourite colour etc as these tend be used as security checks for banking passwords. So answering these questions allows capture of data about you that others could use.
 

Merle Haggard

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Towards the end of my railway 'career' I had to use L.U.L's Northern Line City branch daily. It was an unpleasant experience; long gaps in the service, trains breaking down en route, being ordered to leave boarding stations because of overcrowding, escalators out of action, alarms set off when I legitimately used my priv. pass at the barriers. I came to expect all of these factors as normal.
Then one day, I was approached by someone carrying out a survey on behalf of L.U.L., and he asked a single question.
"Did the service today meet your expectations?".
Well, it had had some of the factors I've listed above, and I had expected them, so the truthful answer had to be "Yes".
But then that answer was used in a poster that said "nn% of our customers found that our services met expectations". with, by sophistry. the implication that this was something to be proud of.
Had L.U.L. framed the question to produce a misleadingly positive answer?
 

Mr Rottweiler

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It`s something I'm starting to get increasingly tired of. In this day and age of social media it`s never been so easy to leave feedback on a company`s Facebook, Twitter, etc. so I really don't feel the need to receive email or text spam or or worst of all a phone call asking me to complete a survey If I receive a particularly good level of service then I'll briefly message or post on the company`s Facebook page with enough details so it gets passed on to the right people, likewise the same for a suggestion or trifling bit of feedback, if I've a complaint to make then I'd likely phone or email.

Most of the time I don't feel I'm in a position to actually give feedback on a service because I've got nothing to benchmark it against so I wouldn't really know if the service provided was great or poor.
 

DelayRepay

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To steal from a meme "Microsoft need to understand people don't have conversations where they recommend operating systems to each other"

And its true over so many of these services.

Yes, this is the question that annoys me most. I don't normally recommend electricity suppliers, telecoms suppliers, credit cards and so on to my friends - we have more important things to talk about!

I only tend to fill in surveys if either (i) It is about a member of staff and they have been very helpful, because I used to work in a job where these surveys impacted your pay and bonus awards, and (ii) when I want to moan about poor service. And sometimes if they offer nectar points or something and I'm not too busy.

I get why you would do surveys for hotels and places like that, but most of the ones I receive are utterly pointless. Parcel deliveries, for example, are generally neither good nor bad, they just happen, yet now seem to generate surveys.
 

LSWR Cavalier

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My small town invites residents to answer lots of questions about the image of the town, one needs to take 30 minutes to read and understand the survey, it is organised by external con-sultants for a charge

Most likely result, as Darrell Huff wrote in 'How lie with statistics', is that 6.213% of residents like doing surveys, 97.**% do not
Seems a waste to me, but sometimes outsiders can spot things one had not thought of
..
I am a bit old-fashioned, I like human contact, I try to be nice to staff who help at the library, in the food store, on the train
 
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FQ

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I am a bit old-fashioned, I like human contact, I try to be nice to staff who help at the library, in the food store, on the train
The fact that being nice to people in service jobs is considered 'old-fashioned' and weird is really a sad statement about the world we now live in - it's just basic decency
 
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