Is my customer satisfaction data reliable?
Reliability is everything in the world of data and gathering information on your customer experience is no different. To develop your service model and build customer loyalty you need accurate reliable feedback on customer satisfaction levels.
Yesterday I was in the post office and as I left, a member of staff asked if I’d mind answering some questions. I was asked my opinion on a few things and the type of services I wanted from the post office. I was generally quite positive in my responses. Finally, I was asked the Net Promoter Score question. As I had waited 10 minutes to be served I gave an NPS response of 7. The member of staff hesitated and I looked down at where she was writing. She input an NPS of 10 then looked up and realised I had seen what she had done. There was an awkward silence while we just looked at each other and then she thanked me and I left.
So here is an exercise that is being conducted by a member of staff that has a vested interest in receiving a positive response. It’s a bit like when you have your car serviced and at the end, the service advisor hands you a feedback card then lays a guilt trip on you telling you how important it is that they get 5 out of 5.
Broadly speaking, these exercises are a waste of time and money. Worse still, they prevent the business from developing service and processes in line with genuine customer emotions and opinions.
So what customer feedback process do I use to stop this?
The answer is to employ feedback processes that allow customers to provide open and honest feedback at a time and place when they do not feel compelled to ‘please’ the person asking the questions.
It is also imperative to protect your surveys from false entries generated by staff members ‘gaming’ the system. There are many ways in which good technology can protect you from this and also broader approaches to the objective which can dramatically decrease the incentive to input false responses.
Achieve the best of both worlds
At Tern, we believe that customer experience measurement is best achieved by the intelligent combining of mystery shopping and customer satisfaction measurement. You can read a little bit more about this in my previous post Mystery Shopping vs Customer Satisfaction. By understanding the culture of the client organisation and the end objectives, we can advise on how these services can be configured and blended to deliver best value.