by Roger Pynn
Automation is part of our daily lives and has made many mundane tasks easier … even more pleasant.
But, when you automate customer satisfaction surveys you run the risk of pouring salt in a wound. I know, because I’m still smarting from an episode two days ago in which Bright House Networks’ automated customer satisfaction surveys caught up with me 24 minutes after I’d gotten off a call to alert them that their service technician had stood me up.
Worse … I’d taken two hours off work to be there during the two-hour window Bright House had prescribed three days earlier when my home phone service failed. So, three full days without service and now I have been put off another day and my cell phone rings with an automated request to tell them how I liked the service. Stick with me, it gets better.
There were only to be five questions. All were to be answered on a Likert scale … 1 was excellent, 2 good, 3 average, 4 poor and 5 absolutely unsatisfactory. I actually answered the first two as excellent because they wanted to know how the initial response was when I called in my request for help. The young lady had been delightful and tried to walk me through my problem, finally realizing they needed to come fix something.
Questions 3 and 4 were different. “How did I like the service?” I rated it absolutely unsatisfactory and the automated voice came back and said, “5 means absolutely unsatisfactory. Are you sure? If so, press 5.” Question 4 wanted to know on the same scale how likely I would be to recommend Bright House. Give me a break … absolutely not. A 5, again … and again I was prompted to be sure I wanted to trash the service I received.
Finally, “is there anything else you’d like us to know? If so, just press 1 and leave your message.” My reply: “I can’t believe I’m getting this call. Check with your service department. They can tell you how happy I am.”
I wish I could give you a happy ending to this story, but the following day instead of sending out a technician at the appointed hour, one arrived two hours early … followed by another at the appointed hour. Neither fixed the problem. Thank the Lord for cell phones.