Amy Foster
November 18, 2013 8:00 am

I don’t often rant on Hello Giggles. It is a happy place filled with positivity, rainbows and unicorns. However, lately I have been so frustrated with the notion of the “survey” that I knew many of you would be able to relate.

Don’t get me wrong now. If I had to spend a significant period of time answering questions about important things like my kids’ teachers, my doctor or where I want my tax dollars going, I would be happy to do so. The thing is, I am not happy to spend my time answering questions about things that don’t matter.

Have you noticed this trend? It drives me crazy. I buy a TV from Best Buy, the very next day I get a call from someone wanting to do a survey about my experience. The survey takes longer than it did to actually buy my TV. ┬áMy Internet goes down and 12 hours later, Comcast calls wanting to know how effective they were at solving the problem. On a side note, Comcast is the neediest of all the companies I’ve ever come across with their surveys. They ask questions that will vary by one word. They need more validation than my teenage daughter.

It seems to me that any time I have to give my phone number or email address to complete my purchase, I can expect a call from someone wanting to know about my experience. I recently switched from Sprint to Verizon. That exchange involved more drama than breaking up with a boyfriend. Sprint wanted to know “Why? Why?! What can we do?!” When I answered point blank that it wasn’t them, it was just that I couldn’t get reception in my home using their service, they tried to offer me more money, signal boosters, incentives… 15 minutes later I just had to hang up. They weren’t listening. Later on that same day, Verizon called to ask about their sales associate who switched over my service. I have received survey calls or emails from Pottery Barn, Fandango, Amazon, Zappos, Nordstroms, American Airlines, The Hyatt Group, Restoration Hardware, Go Daddy, Ethan Allen, 1 800 Got Junk, Barre Method, Barre 3, Hertz, various yarn distributors, Walgreens… the list goes on and on.

Here’s why it makes me so angry: I don’t believe these companies care about me as a person. I don’t think they are sitting around going, “Yeah, great day today, but was Amy Foster happy with our service?” I am not a person. I am data. I am research. I am an aggregate. A furniture company delivers a chair. It takes literally five minutes to drop off, but the phone call afterwards about how they delivered said chair and the specificity they are asking for goes well beyond “They delivered my chair on time and did not break anything while they were doing it.” I also know that I can have a good experience with someone who tried their hardest but still failed to satisfy my needs. In that case, I feel put on the spot. I don’t want anyone to get into trouble and I don’t feel like justifying why I wasn’t totally 100% satisfied. Sometimes things go down that way, you don’t get exactly what you want or how you want it, but that’s life and it isn’t necessarily someone’s fault. It’s just timing, or a storm, or faulty hardware, or a long day or whatever.

I wish these companies would take it easy with the research. Maybe don’t ask everyone, but a few? Or even better maybe they should have faith that I WILL CONTACT THEM IF I RECEIVE POOR SERVICE. On a scale of 1-10, the difference between an eight and nine is not so important. A one or two however is complaint worthy. I believe that I am like most people in that if I am annoyed enough to rate a company at a one or two, they are going to be hearing from me, period. In other words, they don’t need to call me.

That’s the other thing that I find so irritating about these “surveys”, they seem to be looking for brownie points. They use phrases like “How well? How good? Did you like? Were you pleased?” They want you to say nice things. I feel like the call is more to remind me what a wonderful a company they are as opposed to my honest feedback. If they really cared about improving their service shouldn’t there be questions that leaned more towards a negative, like: “Were you disappointed with? How expensive did you find us comparatively? Do you feel like this product or service is worth what you paid? Do you regret?” Wouldn’t those questions be more helpful to improving customer care? I really think they should. In fact the next time I get a call (in the middle of dinner, or when I’m putting my kids to bed or watching my favorite show) that is exactly what I am going to say.

Featured image via Shutterstock

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