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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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  •  I can only dream of having daily customers. (4+ / 0-)

    If I did I could ask them for suggestions from time to time. For the others, I might find a way to offer but not push a way to respond or to offer suggestions.

    "Everything can be found at sea, according to the spirit of your quest" Conrad

    by Captain Marty on Mon Apr 30, 2012 at 08:39:44 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I'm in an entirely different business, but (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Aunt Pat, patchmo13

      one thing we did with good customers was an in-person survey. My boss, who was a VP of our entire region, would ask the client to set aside an hour or so for an in-depth survey. This 8-page list of questions was used as a general basis for discussion. He's allot however much time the client wanted to spend.

      Invariably, we learned a great deal. For example:

      1. The customer knew us for one service, but had no idea that we did other things that they needed

      2. The customer really liked our project team, but didn't get along well with the project manager. If we were willing to swap out that person, we'd get more work

      3. The customer had some concerns about our past performance, but given the attention of this survey and a chance to hash them out, they were ready to consider us again for future work.

      E-mailed surveys were of really no use at all. People ignore them, and the results are invariably used to support someone's foregone conclusion that all is well.

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

      by cassandracarolina on Mon Apr 30, 2012 at 08:49:05 AM PDT

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      •  In certain kinds of businesses, that's the way to (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cassandracarolina, Aunt Pat

        go. I did something similar in several churches where I was Music Director. Every August, we'd invite the congregation to submit their favorite hymns, and include as many as possible in the services. Then I would invite anyone who wanted to to come to a Q and A with me, the clergy, and the Worship Committee to get some feedback. While I don't direct music by "survey" (you just can't) it was valuable feedback, and minimized the anonymous complaints one tends to get in that field.

        If you involve your customers (or in my case, parishioners), and make them feel genuinely involved, even if they don't get every change they're after, they have a far greater sense of investment in the product. It's just good business sense. Period.

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

        by commonmass on Mon Apr 30, 2012 at 09:07:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Daily customers in food service/retail is tricky. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cassandracarolina, patchmo13

      I think it depends on many factors. This particular business I worked for had been in the same location for over 40 years and had only two owners--the first remained on in the wine department after he sold it which was a good move by the new owner as everyone in town knew him and associated him both with the Cheese Shop and with the adjacent kitchen ware shop he also owned with his wife for about the same amount of time.

      Furthermore, it was in the town centre of a smallish New England town (Concord, MA) which was also affluent. People who worked in town and liked what we had to offer often came for lunch three to five days a week. Some people shopped there every Saturday, say. Except for Summer tourists, nearly every customer was a "regular". And there were hundreds of them.

      A similar shop in Harvard Square, Cambridge, called Cardullo's, also enjoys the same kind of loyal clientele but in an urban environment. Of course, it is also an "institution" and has been in the same place for half a century or more and is family owned.

      When you deal with franchises I suspect it's different but depending upon location, there are some things you can do to build it.

      We faxed or emailed daily menus at the deli to a number of local businesses. Often, we got telephone orders from those businesses which was great, because we could complete them before the customer arrived. If the rules of your franchise allow it, and your menu varies at all, you might try getting local businesses on board with a program like that. Of course, you serve pizza, so the variation is probably somewhat limited by your "brand".

      If you have ANY regular customers, though, everyone should know their name. When our regulars came in and we said "Hi, Tony, your usual today?" (I still remember what it was: a slice of quiche and a croissant), Tony knew why he always came to us for lunch and any new customer immediately knew what kind of place they were doing business with: one which is truly interested in welcoming and satisfying its customers.

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

      by commonmass on Mon Apr 30, 2012 at 08:57:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  With our regulars, we know their name and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cassandracarolina, commonmass

        their order, and with some of them their day of the week. So when Kim comes in on a Wednesday we accuse her of being an imposter because she (almost) always comes in on Monday.

        You are right, names are important, especially in the often impersonal urban areas of California.

        "Everything can be found at sea, according to the spirit of your quest" Conrad

        by Captain Marty on Mon Apr 30, 2012 at 11:25:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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