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View Diary: No, I Can't Rate You a "5"!!: The Proliferation of Meaningless, Aggravating Customer Surveys (60 comments)

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  •  The part I don't get about repeat business (7+ / 0-)

    is that the surveys don't differentiate. I stayed at the same hotel every month for a week at a time, and they still send me surveys. It's not as though I don't have a choice of hotels. I like this one, and I give them my business. They get money, I get a room, it's all good.

    Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle. -- Woody Allen

    by cassandracarolina on Mon Apr 30, 2012 at 08:10:04 AM PDT

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    •  That is true. I mentioned down thread (7+ / 0-)

      about how we gauged customer satisfaction in a little market I used to work in.

      If a regular customer (and some were daily customers) stopped coming in without explanation, we'd try to find out why by asking a co-worker of that customer, or in some cases, calling them up or emailing them (we kept an email list for our newsletter). If just one customer disappeared it was a cause for immediate attention.

      It's easier for a small shop with a good customer contact list to do this, but it's not impossible for the large Hotel to keep statistics on who keeps coming back. In fact, I am quite certain the hotel does.

      Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat equalitymaine.org

      by commonmass on Mon Apr 30, 2012 at 08:25:45 AM PDT

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      •  Well....let us not forget that hotel.... (4+ / 0-)

        that sent out a letter to lots of recent customers, at their home addresses, thanking them and their wives for their recent stay.

        Trouble was, some wives at those home addresses, had a few questions for hubby about just who the "wife" was he had stayed with, since they had been home at the time.

        Oops....

        Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

        by dweb8231 on Mon Apr 30, 2012 at 08:51:26 AM PDT

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        •  Survey says: uh, oh...! Reminds me of a story (3+ / 0-)

          about a jewelry business in Rhode Island where the owners would periodically close the store to allow people with, let's just say "mob connections" to shop in privacy for their various lady friends.

          When one of these big-spender's wives came in the store, a new employee asked "so, Mrs. ___, how did you like those diamond earrings?"

          Needless to say, her husband had some 'splaining to do, and no doubt had to buy another pair of earrings.

          Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle. -- Woody Allen

          by cassandracarolina on Mon Apr 30, 2012 at 08:55:34 AM PDT

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      •  I know people who work in small shops (3+ / 0-)

        They know their regulars by heart, and if anything happens to them, they do everything they can to smooth things over.
        If you have a good product, and good customer service, you don't need the survey. The amount of business you get will show whether or not things are going well.

        "He who fights monsters should see to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

        by Hayate Yagami on Mon Apr 30, 2012 at 09:33:54 AM PDT

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    •  One other thing about that little shop. (5+ / 0-)

      It wasn't just the owner or the two managers or the chef who kept track of this. If we didn't see someone for a while, especially if they were daily or weekly customers, someone would always say "has anyone seen Adele lately?" More often than not someone would know "Oh, she's visiting her daughter for six weeks in Florida" but if the answer is "no, I noticed that too" man, we'd be right on it. We'd ask other customers whom we knew knew the one that disappeared, as the town was small enough.

      Of course, in the three plus years I worked there, I can count on one hand the number of times I saw a customer really, seriously, come in with a complaint other than returning, say, a bad bottle of wine (which almost NEVER happened).

      Larger businesses have other methods to track this kind of information. Supermarkets use discount cards this way, for instance. They can tell how much business they have lost by tracking this.

      Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat equalitymaine.org

      by commonmass on Mon Apr 30, 2012 at 08:31:08 AM PDT

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      •  Good customer service can overcome (6+ / 0-)

        a single bad experience. If your relationship with the client/customer is solid, you can usually work through any problems that arise. On the other hand, a business that treats you as an impersonal transaction and not a customer will likely lose you as a customer with one mis-step.

        Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle. -- Woody Allen

        by cassandracarolina on Mon Apr 30, 2012 at 08:33:33 AM PDT

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        •  Let me tell you what an impact it can have: (6+ / 0-)

          When I left that job to move to Maine, several of our daily lunch and frequent customers asked me if I would friend them on FaceBook! I am, with several of them. One of them is the town treasurer! They remain interested in what I'm doing.

          We had very personal relationships with our customers, and in some cases, became confidants to them. Sometimes, we were asked for some rather personal advice which had nothing to do with the business. One Episcopal Priest who used to come in asked me--since she knew I already had a church music job--if I could recommend any candidates for their search for a new organist! I gladly emailed her some names.

          I know not every business can be like that, but every small business CAN and SHOULD. It wasn't perfect, but it should be a model for how you can take care of your employees and pay them fairly, and take care of your customers AND your bottom line at the same time.

          The website of the shop can be found here, if you're interested:

          The Cheese Shop of Concord.

          Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat equalitymaine.org

          by commonmass on Mon Apr 30, 2012 at 08:44:49 AM PDT

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