Why did the chicken cross the road?
In business, we all need to understand what causes our customers dissatisfaction and fix the issues as a priority. What happens in practice?
Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning - Bill Gates
If you’re like me, we are all fed up with endless and largely pointless demands on our valuable time responding to requests to fill in yet another damned ‘Customer Survey’.
I have a confession: I nearly always fill in customer surveys… call it professional interest. Most are incredibly bad, on the rare occasion a survey is well executed, the results are fundamentally flawed for one simple reason which I am happy to share. Just think…
Comedians poke fun at people who don’t cross the road to avoid researchers.
We all know what they’re saying: “There’s something wrong with the people who end up being interviewed”. Why? Because ‘normal people’ cross the road to avoid the interview.
You may be thinking so what? Well, if you want to know the truth, this really matters.
Getting feedback from a ‘non-representative’ sample of clients is worse than useless, much worse. Just think about it, if you send an email to your clients asking them for feedback, who will bother and take time to respond?
With most ‘Client Satisfaction Surveys’, large numbers of clients are emailed asking for them to provide feedback. The vast majority ‘cross the road to avoid the interview’, but some will complete your questionnaire. But will it be a representative sample? NO!
Not a snowballs chance in Hell. The only people motivated to respond are ‘emotionally engaged in the relationship’. They fall into two camps:
1. Lots of DELIGHTED CLIENTS WHO LOVE YOU and…
2. A few ANGRY DISSATISFIED CLIENTS
We all like compliments so we share the feedback from delighted clients, sharing positive comments, especially with our staff.
What about angry clients who vent their frustration? Comments are often exaggerated for dramatic effect, but what happens? These clients are branded as trouble makers whose vitriolic outpourings are ignored.
Businesses who adopt this strategy only ‘hear’ delighted clients and glowing feedback. The vast majority of clients, those who have gripes, issues and are generally less than 100% satisfied are blissfully, out of site and out of mind… until they leave.
If you want to know what your clients really think, and you do, you need to find a better way. If you want to know more by all means ask, because there is an easy answer, but that is the topic for my next post on the topic of Client Engagement. In the meantime…
So Why did the chicken cross the road? To avoid the market researcher!
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