Oil Service Please, Hold the Survey

A few weeks ago I took my Honda CRV into the dealership for an oil change. At the end of the service the associate (they don’t call them employees any more) asked me if there was anything else they could have done differently to satisfy me. I wished the service could be free, but I didn’t think this was the kind of response they were looking for. Then they mentioned that Honda corporate would contact me regarding a survey and that it was important that I gave ‘5’s. I understood their perspective. It was like a student asking for an ‘A’ grade.

Last week Honda called me and asked me several questions over the phone about the service I received. In between folding laundry and making dinner I answered their questions with ‘5’s. At the end the person asked if they could send me a written survey for more details. I said, “No, I already answered your survey.” I think that it was reasonable considering I already gave them 3 minutes of my time. Then today Honda called me again to say,”Thank you for the good surveys”. At the end of my customer experience (assuming it is over and they don’t call me next week), the only thing I had to complain about was the surveys. I don’t mind getting surveyed once and providing my answers, but I do have a problem with feeling like there are more customer touch points regarding the survey than the actual service. Why can’t they just do the survey and get it over with? Why do they have to call me to say thank you?  I already know that Honda would will be happy with the ‘5’s I gave, I don’t need to be told. It is like telling a king they have a nice crown. He is the king, he doesn’t need to be told things he already knows. Same goes with surveys.

When I take my car in for service, I want the service and not the surveys. In my work in IT consulting I have noticed a similar obsession with surveys. They want more surveys and only good surveys. No one wants the bad news. Why does management think that if you get good surveys, you will have a more successful business? I completely disagree. Great service at a good price means a successful business. As an example, I really liked that I get a free car wash with my oil change at Honda. I also liked that when they replaced the car battery (which was under warranty) all of the car’s radios stations were reset for me. This is great customer service! Treating your customers with respect (because after all, customer =  person) will gain much more repeat business than annoying an already busy customer with surveys that they really don’t have time to answer. Next time I am asked to fill out a survey I will say I don’t have time. I just don’t believe in the value of surveys any more. If customers stopped answering surveys maybe this survey frenzy would end.

What do you think about this latest onslaught of surveys?