I’ve written 3 different blogs this week and every time I’ve come to post, something has happened that has made me stop and think that this is the topic I should write on, not just once, but on 3 successive days! So whatever the fates want, they apparently know manipulation.
Recently I purchased a new VW Golf T.D.I. I love it. It is a great vehicle and gets far better mileage than the Prius I traded in. This is especially true when you factor in that my wife will actually drive it as opposed to her absolute refusal to even ride in the “grandpa car” (Hey! Gold is a good color!). The point of this is I opened up a letter from the factory that thanked me for my purchase and …you ready?... found included a $5 Starbucks card in appreciation for my taking the time to fill out the survey regarding New Car quality I would soon receive. I got it the next day.
I received an e-mail from Cobalt proclaiming all the advancements they’ve made since becoming part of the ADP family and that I may soon receive a commissioned phone survey that would grade them and the results weighed when considering what direction to go next. Sure enough, I received a call and after ascertaining it was indeed the announced survey elected to participate in the 10-15 minute survey. My main reason for doing so was to express overall, if not satisfaction, at least appreciation for what Cobalt has done. (I still don’t believe in OEM mandated providers) I answered satisfied or somewhat satisfied to most questions with only the occasional negative. At the end of the survey I was asked which of Cobalt’s other services I would be interested in if they were to available to me at a special reduced cost for completing their survey.
I called Chase bank telephone banking to reset my pin. 58 minutes and 3 operators later I was still unsuccessful and very frustrated. The only reason I stayed on the line that long is I had elected to participate in their customer feedback survey and I was ready to voice my displeasure. The rep insisted she would not hang up unless I did first. Through a glitch caused by one of the two reps I was on the line with hanging up, the survey was triggered. The rep was still on the phone when I pressed 1 as “highly unsatisfied” with the results of my call. She actually screamed “No sir, don’t you know what that will do to my rating?”
In all 3 instances any feeling of gratitude that may have been fostered by the attempt of reaching out for my opinion or solve an issue on my behalf was dashed by the emphasis put on “the survey” and “the upsell.”
The car industry, Dealers, Vendors and OEM’s, are rife with examples of those seeking to look good rather than be good. I know of several Dealers that try to attach all categories of the Manufacturers survey to the salesman’s relationship with the customer and make it part of their pay. Worse yet we all know of instances were there are still a lot of survey’s being diverted or “launched”. I’ve heard of one salesperson that literally has a notebook full of created e-mails he, with the full knowledge and endorsement of the Dealers upper management, sent customers survey’s to. He no longer works for the same Dealer so I have no doubt that those same e-mails will be deployed again.
The system is broken from both sides: Unrealistic expectations and metrics that a client base, no matter the industry or position, can and will begin to leverage to hold hostage providers. When ”supercalifragilsitic” is the only acceptable response, no opportunity for real improvement will occur.
Oh and please don’t use the “I just want to make sure your satisfied, now what else can I sell you or who can you refer?” line. It just demeans us both.