Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Strive 4 Five = Bogus Customer (member) research

It happened again at lunch yesterday. The third time this month.

Our waitress brought the check and said “We have a ‘Strive for Five survey’ that I’d like you to complete. And, please, if you can’t give me a 5 on everything, don’t take the survey!”

Early in the month, a personal banker told us the same thing after we finished opening the account. “You’ll be called to take a survey about my performance, please be sure to give me all 5s, otherwise, I get in trouble with my boss.”

And, the service manager told my wife the same thing when she picked up her car.

Here’s how the question is posed in an “on-line survey” request:

“We would like to get some FEEDBACK regarding the service we provided you. Please rate our company on a scale of 1-5 and if the service was anything less than a 5, please briefly tell us why. This way we can improve our customer service and better our company's performance. Your ID:480319. Thank you for taking the time to read this email and we hope to hear from you soon. Have a great day!”

At least the email didn’t say “give us a 5 or forget it!”

I don’t know about you but it makes me uncomfortable to be told “give me a 5 or don’t do the survey.” And, personally, I resent the requests. And, feel badly that I’ve not reported these requests to “management.”

What’s going on here? Do companies know their employees are “gaming” the system? Do they realize they are getting bogus data? And, if they base their decisions on these surveys, they might wake up out of business and not even see it coming.

All of this makes me wonder what kind of “evaluations” are we association professionals asking of our members, our attendees, our donors? Are we getting reliable data? Are our staffs “gaming” the system to get good reviews?

What do you market research professionals think about this? What types of survey research (customer evaluations) are you recommending to your clients? How are you ensuring that we get good data? What suggestions do you have for those of us in the association management professions?

1 comment:

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