Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Learn how to 'game' customer feedback scores

Sam had gone to receive the delivery of his new car. He was received enthusiastically and offered refreshments

The salesman ran through the regular drill of explaining the features, what can be done, what should not be done, what must be done, etc. After a 20 minute demo, he was asked to wait until the paper work was complete

As Sam waited munching through a cookie, a young smartly dressed lad walked across the room and greeted Sam

"Good Evening Sir, I am Prakash. I am the Quality Representative, how're you doing sir?"

"I'm doing great thank you", replied Sam

"I'm here to get feedback on how your experience has been", he added beaming

"Yeah, so far, so good"

"Sir, are there any areas of improvement that you would suggest?"

"Come to think of it, the test drive car that you brought was in pathetic condition, you guys should maintain these vehicles"

"Sure sir"

"and your delivery lead time has to be shortened" 

"check your google reviews, the ratings are only 2 star, you can pick some improvements from there" continued Sam

Being the enthusiastic person he was, Sam provided a few more feedback, highly impressed by the proactive questioning from this dealer's Q-Rep

"Sure sir, we will take your feedback and strive to improve" said Prakash, stifling a yawn with great difficulty

"The poor guy must be tired, after all its near closing time", thought Sam

Sam also noticed that none of his feedback was noted down - probably Prakash had an awesome memory

As the conversation between them was ending, the salesman joined the conversation with a 100 watt smile

"How is your discussion with our Q-Rep, sir?" questioned the salesman, putting his hand over the Q-Reps shoulder

"You will get a call from the headquarters, please do give us 10/10. sir" added the Q-Rep

Aghast, Sam could only nod. Both the Q-Rep & the salesman were in cahoots and the whole exercise was to urge the Customer to give a high feedback score! So much for the 'pro-activeness'!

After a few days, Sam received a call

"Good Morning Sir, you had recently bought a car from us, what is your overall dealer experience?"

"It was ok"

"How would you rate your experience on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 to 8 is poor, 9 is good and 10 is excellent?"

Sam couldn't believe his ears. What kind of a non-linear rating was this!

Dumbfounded he muttered "9"

"Thank you sir, when you get a call from headquarters, please rate us 9 or 10"

"Excuse me, then who are you?" inquired Sam

"We are the dealer from whom your bought the car. Thank you very much for your time"

We have two take-away's from this

1. a 'pro-active' dealer whose pro-activeness is not in finding & fixing issues but in 'managing' feedback

2. The company 'gaming' the feedback by providing a non-linear scale of measurement in order to show they have 'highest' feedback score among the competition

So much for Quality, Customer Feedback & Process!

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