Friday, July 20 , 2018, 11:33 pm | Fair 65º

 
 
 

She Said, Z Said: Customer Service Surveys Opening a Dangerous Door

Are you sure you really want to know our opinion, like it's your damn business?

Z: If I have to answer one more customer service survey, I’m going to snap and kill a man.

She: If you do, and you get sent to jail, I’m guessing they’ll make you take a customer service satisfaction survey about your prison guards.

Z: Doesn’t it seem like all of the sudden every company in the world is doing these surveys?

She: AAA called with a service survey, we used called ID to ignore them, but they still left us an automated message asking about their service, and kept calling until we responded.

Z: We bought a car, and were inundated with calls and emails wanting me to judge everyone from the salesman to the finance guy.

She: And there’s never a box to check to say that the customer service was great until the customer service specialists got involved.

Z: Even the fast-food restaurants have surveys on the backs of their receipts now.

She: I must confess, if I can win money or a lot of tacos, I’ll do those.

Z: That’s because they’re not hunting you down. Any time you buy something online, there’s an immediate request for feedback. “Did we get you your product on time? How would you rate our Web site? Does this font make our butt look fat?”

She: And if you make the mistake of trying to rate the font, you immediately get 17 other surveys asking you to rate the color and the ad placement and background color.

Z: You can’t buy any goods or services anymore without being asked, “How did we do? Are we good enough for you?”

She: It’s very needy. It’s like that boyfriend who’s way too concerned with how he kisses. “Am I kissing you too hard? Should I peck more? What do you want me to do?”

Z: I’ll tell you what I want you to do. I want you to man-up, corporate America. I want you to own your products and your services.

She: Seriously. The entire world is not your focus group

Z: The very first time I saw a customer survey it was mildly refreshing. Ooh, they care! I get a voice. Now it’s nothing but white noise.

She: Once upon a time, I had a secret fantasy that I’d be picked to be one of the Nielsen families, and get to help decide the fate of TV schedules.

Z: This was your fantasy? You couldn’t come up with anything more fun or interesting?

She: One of my fantasies. Brad and I were a Nielsen family, and we watched good, important TV and helped raise the ratings. Then, I actually got selected to be a Nielsen family, but for consumer goods, not TV. It involved some barcode reader thing, was a huge pain, and I quit after a day.

Z: It’s way too much work. They’ve taken all the fun out of our favorite hobby of being critics.

She: Pretty much the only time I do the customer satisfaction surveys anymore is when something went horribly wrong, and I would have complained to someone anyhow. I actually find myself being harsher with my ratings if they ask too many questions.

Z: Like the bathroom was clean but was it really, truly clean enough?

She: And did they have to choose that tile? And couldn’t they soften up the lighting in the mirrors a little bit?

Z: It makes me wonder about the accuracy of some of those survey sites like Yelp, BizRate and Epinions, since the only time I ever bother to answer is if I hate the place.

She: Or we’ve got a friend who owns it.

Z: True. I wish that companies would stop wasting all this money on the surveys, and put that money into their products and services to begin with.

She: Unless there are free tacos.

Z: Yes, dear.

— She and Z are wondering: How was your column service today? Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here for previous She Said, Z Said columns. Follow Leslie Dinaberg on Twitter.

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