What is the Quality of your Quality Survey?

I just finished a chat session with a customer service group and I received this survey. I started to fill it out then I got confused.


I had ordered a product and a week later the status said it was still waiting to be fulfilled. I was disappointed that the agent I was chatting with could not help me with my issue. They said that “As I am an online chat representative I do not have access to customer information due security purpose.” So apparently the website I entered my credit card info in a week ago was not secure enough for them to look up my personal data. I wanted to rate the information I received from my agent as poor as they could not answer my questions. The options I had to rate the response was Excellent, good, Fair, Yes no No. Wait, Yes and No? In case it’s not obvious at first glance, the last two options are Yes and No which appears to only apply to the last two questions. I suppose that means Excellent, Good and Fair apply to the first two questions only.

Lessons Learned

The goal here is not to complain but to learn. If I use my feelings and experiences as a customer to mold my business acumen, then what can I learn from this encounter?

Measuring quality requires as much or more quality than what you are measuring

This survey is not of enough quality to provide value. People quickly filling out the survey may not read the last two labels. They may either assume a strait 5 point scale or when they get to the third question they may have to start over. Not knowing which path the customer followed puts any conclusions based on the responses suspect. If only 1 in 25 people responds to a survey the any misunderstanding is multiplied 25 times.Without the quality in the survey you have wasted everyone’s time in putting it out there.

Keep it easy

I believe passionately in providing feedback but even I was reluctant to fill out this form. It took twice as long as it should have. So I really want to spend my time helping out this company. It’s hard to convince people to fill out an online customer service survey. It stands to reason that anything that makes it confusing or difficult will reduce the number of responses further skewing the statistics. I bet that spending extra thought on the survey would have resulted in a higher response rate which would probably increase the accuracy.

Allow the negative

I can only speculate why Fair appeared to be the lowest score on the scale. It is possible that they assumed I would use the Yes and No columns to show anything less that fair. They may also wish to spare their customer service representative the heartbreak of receiving a negative review. There might be something else I am missing.

As a customer, I felt like I was being asked to lie. In a situation where I am trusting them with my credit card number I want to be able to trust the company. If they want me to lie to them then I can only believe they will lie to me. Giving me negative options would give me a more positive feeling regardless of whether I was please or displeased with the service I received.

Don’t use Security as an excuse

As a customer I was alarmed to hear someone tell me that they can not access my personal data on a online chat on the same website where I just entered all that personal data and just viewed it again just before the chat. From a customer point of view a communication method is either secure or it is not.  From a technical standpoint, any reason why the chat is insecure appears to be a limitation on their software implementation. The phone is a far less secure technology in many ways. I can’t imagine the cost of providing a secure chat session is higher than the cost of the loss of business when telling you web based customer that the web is not a secure place to do business.

In the End

I did as I would want someone to do for me and took the time to indicate in the comments a clear impression of my call. I also provided feedback on the quality of the survey. This is really benefiting them and I hope the take it that way.

Technically, the last question is not written in the same form as the others but that is splitting hairs and I’m starting to sound bitter. Comment below if you see any other lessons we can learn from this encounter.