Are You Overwhelmed By Customer Satisfaction Surveys? You’re Not Alone.

Worse yet, these intrusive questionnaires might not even be doing any good. Are You Overwhelmed By Customer Satisfaction Surveys? You’re Not Alone. Giphy

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In bygone generations, businesses sought to provide excellent products and courteous service, relying on word of mouth and repeat customers as an indication that they were doing a good job. But now, self-assessment has largely been replaced by online surveys.

It’s not just hotels and restaurants that are keen on asking customers whether they were satisfied … increasingly, doctor’s offices, insurance companies, and other professional service providers are using surveys to gauge their performance.

Is it even working?

You’d think that with all this feedback coming in, businesses would take heed of opportunity for improvement and customer satisfaction would generally be on the upswing. Instead, some evidence shows that when average consumers are compelled to constantly evaluate their experiences, they end up feeling overloaded and often don’t take the time to consider their responses before submitting surveys.

Making matters worse, many of these surveys completely skim over the central component of any business transaction: whether the customer received a high-quality product or service. More often, we’re asked about the experience, i.e., whether a menial employee was friendly rather than whether a massive corporation is doing its job effectively.

It’s only getting worse

Market research is big business, as evidenced by a host of research data showing just how much money is being poured into customers satisfaction surveys:

  • About $16 billion is spent on such surveys annually in the U.S. alone.
  • Just one company, Qualtrics, analyzed 1.6 billion responses in the past year.
  • Responses in the first quarter of this year outpaced projections by 10%.

But fewer customers are actually using surveys to complain, says Qualtrics executive Brad Anderson, explaining: “When a customer has a poor experience, 10% fewer of them are telling the company about it than they did in 2021. What’s happening is they’re just switching.”

Chris Agee
Chris Agee April 23rd, 2024
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