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October 2015
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The Survey Craze is Overkill...and here's why.

Everyone likes to copy everyone in the U.S. for simple fixes on customer service. It is rare that your sales receipt does not have a web site for a customer service survey and some reward for participating.  On their register receipts, stores like Walmart, Petco and Walgreens include a Web address and an invitation to fill out a survey, with the chance to win a prize.

On the telephone, in the mail, on their computers, smartphones and iPads, American consumers are being solicited as never before to express their feelings about coffeemakers, hand creams, triple-bypass operations, veterinarians, dry cleaners and their experience at the dentist during a root canal procedure.

I fly frequently with Delta Airlines and call their Diamond phone number a lot. About 50% of the time during a phone call is spent asking if I want to take a one question survey at the end of the call.

  • Do I really want to do a survey several times a week?
  • Do I want 50% of the time I am trying to reach a live person asking if I want to do a survey?
  • If I don’t respond they ask again.
  • When I do respond they ask again. Crazy.

A fad with no focus.  I find that too many firms follow the leader with customer satisfaction research. They love surveys. Does no good. No one responds or does anything with the information. It’s just wasting the customer's time.

Great food…weak customer service.  Recently I took my wife to McCormick and Schmicks for her birthday. McCormick and Schmicks is a high-end seafood restaurant in Edina, Minnesota.  I called to make a reservation and they asked if there was a special occasion. I informed them that it was my wife’s birthday. They took her name and information down and I was super impressed.

When we got to the restaurant we had to wait over 5- minutes for a hostess to arrive. (She commented on my wife's birthday).

We seldom drink, and our server was focused on the table next to us that was drinking a lot of wine. I guess a customer that drinks water is not as valuable.  (our server never mentioned my wife's birthday).

No special acknowledgement or small gift.

When I got the bill I asked the hostess to get me the manager. After 10 minutes he came. He said they would try to do better. NO service recovery. I called several days later and asked to speak to the manager. An assistant came on and said they would try to do better next time. The manager never called me.

This restaurant in Edina, Minnesota has 32 Google reviews with a 3.3 rating. Not very good for an expensive high end restaurant. Trip Advisors has 155 reviews with 4 out of 5 as the rating. This is better but still not good for a high-end restaurant. 

This is on their web site. http://www.mccormickandschmicks.com

"In 2012, McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants became a part of the Landry’s, Inc. family, joining more than 300 locations nationwide, including restaurants, hotels and entertainment centers.

While the number of restaurants has grown, the original vision remains in providing the freshest seafood, at a value, in a comfortable setting while providing extraordinary service. Making it work are the company's leaders and more than 7,000 employees. The continued emphasis on open imagination and a respect for tradition is what makes McCormick & Schmick's the classic and successful business that it is today."       

A lot of nice words. All baloney”.

Lessons to be learned:

1. With Social Media today you have to respond to all complaints within minutes.

2. Master Service Recovery. I suspect not more than 1% of organizations know what this is. (Read the next section).

3. If you are going to use customer service surveys do something with the feedback immediately if there is a problem.

4. Train everyone every 4 months on superior customer service. The staff has to be consistently good. The time and money they spend on surveys would be better spent training everyone on the art of customer service.

5. Management needs to drive the focus on superior customer service. Lip Service has NO value.


Service Recovery

Everyone makes mistakes. Things happen no matter how customer driven you are. Apologizing is good customer service but NOT Service Recovery. The goal should be to turn the customer into a raving fan. Learning how to take a customer from hell to heaven in 60 minutes is the focus of my book, Loyal for Life $14.95

There are 4 skills I teach that every employee must master. This must be driven by top management and implemented by the employee;

1. Act Quickly (All this has to happen in 60 seconds)

2. Take Responsibility Do not lie.  I suspect at least 80% of the time employees are prone to lie to get the customer off their back.

3. Be Empowered.

4. Compensate   Every organization has things of value that cost very little. You want to create an incentive for the customer to return. If you are too cheap it will backfire. McCormick & Schmick's should have given me a $50 gift card. Real cost would be about $15 and my wife and I would go back.

We have a 3-4 hour training program that teaches your employees these skills. Visit

We have a Start Up Special for 25 employees for only $999. Use this coupon (FREE) for free shipping anywhere in the world through November 2016. Available in English, Spanish and Russian.


Coaching for Success

Money is not the most effective tool to drive higher performance. Most employees want to feel valued, loved and appreciated. Managers and supervisors tend to think more benefits (You’re stuck with these for Life) and higher compensation are the keys to driving increased performance.

undefinedThe less an employee is paid it seems they get the least recognition and love. They are not valued or appreciated. It is important for everyone in a leadership role to learn how to coach, use recognition and terminate employees that do not respond to these values. When the coaching skills do not work Coaching for Success teaches managers how and why they have to terminate the dead employee.

Coaching for Success is a one day seminar or can be implemented in 2- half days.

You can view all elements of the program on the web site and view a segment of the video. All products with SQI have a Life Time Money Back Guarantee. Our programs work.

John Tschohl
Service Quality Institute
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55420
Office 952-884-3311
Cell 612-382-5636

In this issue

»The Survey Craze is Overkill...
»Service Recovery
»Coaching for Success

John Tschohl, President Service Quality Institute

  • In The Media:

» Coaching For Success = More Profit - Call Center Times

» The Meaning of Life and Customer Service - Excellence Reporter 

» Learning From The Good And The Bad Organizations - Agency Sales

» Good Value Makes Good Business Sense - Call Center Times

» Take The Proactive Approach To Service - And Build Your Profits - The Retail Observer

» How Do They Do It...Year After Year? Biz India

Certification Seminars:

April 11, 2016 Minneapolis, MN - Feelings (Certification)
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April 11-13, 2016 MInneapolis, MN - Certified Customer Service Leader (CCSL)
Sign up here

April  11-14, 2016 Minneapolis, MN - Certified Customer Service Trainer (CCST)
Sign up here

April  12-13, 2016 Minneapolis, MN - Leading Empowered Teams (Certification)
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