Customer Satisfaction – don’t put me in coach

By: Bob Kobek, President, CustomerCount

I am a very happy Ford owner. Before that I was a very happy General Motors customer.

But, by the way their service departments treated me, you would never have guessed that. You would have figured that I was a very unhappy customer with absolutely no hope of ever being loyal. Quite the opposite though, and a whole lot of ironies to go around.

Every time I delivered my car to them for service, even if just an oil change, I was called, mailed, emailed and they would have knocked on my door to take a survey about the experience. Not only take the survey, but when I did, I must score everything “Excellent”, even if it wasn’t. It got so bad that I now make a copy of the survey, fill it out with my real experience scores, send it to the dealership and tell them the flaws. I would enclose the blank “real” survey and tell them they could do what they thought best.

I am certain I know which one was sent to the manufacturer.

So, in the entire process of Ford and GM getting every survey returned, those were all scored “excellent” and therefore there is no need for improvement, anywhere. And, I blame it on this arbitrary scoring of customer satisfaction index (CSI). The higher the CSI, the more cars you are allocated, the more incentives you are offered, the more profitability for your dealership. Good for you, but you are lying!

But what is the Customer Satisfaction Index?

According to Genroe, a customer satisfaction index combines the customer survey scores from different aspects of the business to create a single customer satisfaction index that indicates the overall customer satisfaction.

For example adding the customer survey scores for responsiveness, cleanliness, product quality and price then dividing by four. This gives an index with the same range as each of the attribute scores.

The main issue with this approach is determining how important each attribute is in driving customer satisfaction. The scores may be weighted to reflect significance and combined to form a single numerical score identifying the customer’s overall level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Sample size/survey method must also be selected to ensure it is representative of customers. If this is done incorrectly, the index created can give inaccurate results.

By coaching those invited to take your satisfaction survey means you like talking to yourself. You are not looking for ways to improve, you are looking for ways to pull the wool over someone’s eyes, for gain. The biggest problem here is that it always includes your own eyes. You, as a business owner/manager are fooling yourself right along with the company that supplies your livelihood.

So, don’t coach. Don’t let your people coach. Don’t let your survey company coach. Just Don’t.

If you’d like to know more about customer satisfaction surveys, and how to run one correctly, contact us today.