Marketing experts tell us we live in a service economy. Today, major corporations continue to hone their service skills just to make sure they will surprise and delight customers at every turn. Their aim is to make us brand-loyal while the maddening crowd of competition lurks just a mouse-click away. And what's the quickest way to gauge how they're doing?...customer satisfaction surveys!
After working for years in the marketing field as a writer and designer, I applaud companies who want feedback from their customers, and use it to improve their products and services. But when those surveys become barometers for bonuses and salary compensation, the customer loses. Especially when they feel harassed into filling out the survey with glowing scores. I always bristle when I pick up my car after servicing at the dealership and receive a sales pitch to complete my customer satisfaction survey when it arrives in the mail...along some not so subtle encouragement to give them a high rating.
So when it was my turn recently to write a similar script for a home builder (who will remain nameless to protect my cash flow) I felt compelled to create a more honest version. Although it never saw the light of day, it was good therapy!
Dear New Homeowner:
As you probably know from other major purchases you have made, the sales and production team's compensation package relies heavily on the answers to the customer survey you will soon receive. Please don't take this letter as our way of begging for great marks so that we can keep our jobs, but in fact we're screwed if you don't give us a passing grade. So please take a moment to fill out the survey when it does arrive and make sure you give us the highest marks available on the survey. Remember, we know where you live...because we built your house.