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April 2016
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Why Customer Satisfaction Surveys Backfire

Do you really think customers WANT to fill out a customer satisfaction survey?  How many times have you rifled through a survey just to get the freebie that comes with it?  Well, guess what?  Most people are probably doing the same thing and all the information they thought was so important is now…invalid.  A complete waste of time and money.

In the U.S., every organization is following-the-leader with customer satisfaction surveys. The latest fad is to initiate surveys with your customers with every transaction 100% percent of the time. Very few customers fill out the survey and if they do, it depends on what the freebie is at the end.

In many firms like Delta airlines every single time I call I get asked to take a survey. And, they don’t just ask once. Approximately 40% of my time is wasted, on the phone listening to their survey request and having to repeat "no" to their surveys at least twice if not more.

Customer satisfaction surveys are everywhere; in fact, we tend to be bombarded with e-mail or online survey offers from companies who want to know our opinions about their products, services, etc.  Have you ever called up your credit card company or bank and were asked to stay on the line after your call is complete in order to take a customer satisfaction survey?  How many times do you actually stay on the line to take that survey?  If you’re like the vast majority of people, you hang up as soon as the call is complete and get on with your life.

Firms in the U.S. like to copy everyone else.  Remember when it was a cool thing to save money and outsource your call center to India? This was one of the most stupid business decisions companies made that is unless they had too many customers or wanted to reduce their customer base or the value of their business.  When Michael Dell retired the first time, he put a financial person in as CEO. The first thing he did was dramatically reduce the customer experience and outsource to India. The $1,000 I invested in Dell in May 2003 is now worth $474. I think firms are going to the same destructive approach as outsourcing to India.

It is difficult to find any business in the U.S. that is not surveying its customers.  I think we have Human Resource people selling top management on it because EVERYONE ELSE is doing this.  

Amazon the customer service leader in the U.S. and the world, which grew twenty-six percent to $107 billion in revenue last year is not dumb enough to follow the trend. As Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon said, "If you want more of something reduce the friction. If you want less of something increase the friction." 

Years ago many firms used Customer Comment cards. They stopped using them because customers knew the firms did not read them or do anything about the feedback. Around 1981 Target had customer comment cards where the results were really bad. They solved the problem by just changing the questions on the comment cards. . When I was in college a D grade meant you did not pass. Most US firms are happy with a C or D grade. If the survey results are not exactly good they just change the survey.

If you want to survey your customers survey one out of five or one out of 10. It will be more meaningful. The process being used today is increasing the friction with customers, increasing transaction times, upsetting customers and damaging your brand, your image, and your sales.

I suspect firms like JD Powers are driving this crazy focus on customer satisfaction surveys and Net Promoter Scores. Spend some of your money developing your leadership team and workforce to deliver superior customer service. It will be money better spent.  Do not follow this trend because at some point in 2016 your customers will get so fed up they will defect. In the words of Jeff Bezos, “Reduce friction don’t increase it”.

If you want to hear more on this topic, you can watch my video on the subject here.

Have we passed the digital tipping point? Accenture says, 'yes'

This report will give you the research on digital engagement vs  humans. Awesome report.

Books to Read Challenge

Following are the three books I have read and would suggest everyone would benefit from reading. Join me in reading at least one book a month to enhance your skills. I find it very fulfilling and would love to hear which books you would suggest for not only me but all of our readers/partners.

  • Book on Closing by Jeffrey Gitomer – Ask the right questions, transfer the value, create the urgency, and win the sale
  • The Success Principles by Jack Canfield – How to get from where you are to where you want to be. 
  • Moving Up by John Tschohl – A step by step guide to creating your success

Certification Seminars in Nigeria in July 

We have two Certification Seminars Service Quality Institute is holding in Lagos and Abuja in July. The investment is $1997 for CCST or 391,000 Naira and $998 for CCSL or 191,000 Naira. If in Nigeria all payments will be paid in Naira to Nigerian bank accounts of SQI Channel partners.

July 11-14 Lagos Nigeria
July 18-21 Abuja, Nigeria.

If interested contact one of our channel partners in Nigeria or Kim Moon at SQI  kim@servicequality.com  Phone 1-952-884-3311

General Electric Lost Its Focus -  CEO Compensation

In the U.S., it seems the worse a company does the more the CEO gets compensated. Jeff Immelt, Chairman, and CEO of General Electric received $32,974 million (SEC income) for 2015. On page 33 the Proxy Statement says, “The Compensation Committee believes that Mr. Immelt performed extremely well in 2015 with one of the best performance years in the company’s history.”

The annual report was 222 pages.  The first 18 pages were 4 colors. They talked about all the great achievements in 2015. On page 108 they had revenue. In 2015 it increased by 202 million from $117,184 million in 2014 to $117,386 million in 2015. Net earnings moved from 15,233 million in 2014 to ($6,126) in 2015. This is a drop of $21,359 million.

In May 2003, I invested $1000 each in nine service leaders. At that time, GE was awesome at its focus on building people and driving a customer driven company. In the last 13 years, the stock increased in value to $1,669.12 (April 5, 2016) an increase in value of $669.12 for an average increase in value of $51.47. This is an average 3.8% percent increase per year. Now compare that to my $1,000 invested in Amazon is worth on April 5 $18,756.48.  An 11 times greater return.

Very few firms are able to keep their focus on a service strategy. The financial results are disastrous.

GE probably spent $1 million on designing these stock reports. To the naked eye, the typical shareholder would be impressed. GE has paid virtually no federal or state income taxes in the U.S. for many years. They are number 8 on Fortune 500. The real focus is on Executive and Director Compensation

October 13-14 Worldwide Customer Service Conference

October 13-14 we will have service leaders from across the world in a 2 day Worldwide Customer Service Conference. If you want to learn how to drive a service culture this is your opportunity. Draft Agenda is here. On Saturday, October 15 we will have an exclusive seminar just for Channel Partners and those interested in being a business partner with SQI. Draft Agenda is here. We have finalized the list of speakers and the agenda. Registration is $997 with an early bird discount until April 30 for $699. The Conference will be at the Radisson Blu with special SQI rates of $162 night. Registration, as well as more information, can be found on this brochure as well as right here on my website.

John Tschohl
Service Quality Institute
9201 E. Bloomington Freeway
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55420 USA
Office 952-884-3311
Cell 612-382-5636
In this issue

» Why Customer Satisfaction Surveys Backfire
» Have we passed the digital tipping point? Accenture says, 'yes'
» Books to Read Challenge
» Certification Seminars in Nigeria in July
» General Electric Lost Its Focus
» October 13-14 Worldwide Customer Service Conference

John Tschohl, President Service Quality Institute

  • In The Media:

» Name-Calling: Great for Business! - Retail Details

» How to Switch Off an Irate Customer - Best Practice in Sales and Marketing

» Good Values Make Business Sense - The Retail Observer

» Names You Want to Remember - ABA Bank 

» Customers Will Remember Your Business If You Can Remember Thier Names - The Call Center Times

» Master Class "Customers For Life" - Channel 5 News Ukraine

» How Do They Do It, Year After Year? - Retail Observer

» Building Rapport With Your Customers - The Call Center Times


Upcoming Events:

May 24th, 2016, Trinidad, Spain - One Day Customer Service Strategy Conference
More Information »

October 13-14, 2016 Minneapolis, MN - Worldwide Customer Service Conference
More Information »

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