Get 5 Best Practices to Boost Your Customer Listening

While there are a lot of common errors in customer satisfaction surveys, I recently experienced a particularly egregious one: fake customer survey data.

Fake Customer Survey Data Example

Our company recently began working with a website optimization service. As the introductory phone call drew to a close, our new account manager asked me to take a customer satisfaction survey—and told me, “That’s how I get paid.”

This was useless, awkward, and inappropriate. It showed that what I had to say didn’t really matter.

Plus, this was my account manager—there’s no way I’d give him a poor rating that might sour our weekly phone calls. So basically, IF I did take the survey, the only data that company would get would be fake. 

Reasons to Care About Fake Data

This company’s entire approach to customer satisfaction surveys misses how interactions can create value for the company and customer alike.

The company could have gotten accurate data  and I could have had a great on-boarding experience, unencumbered by feelings of obligation or guilt.

Furthermore, the survey was painfully generic which can result in another source of fake customer survey data. For example, one question was the ubiquitous NPS Survey question: “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend?” Not only is Net Promoter so overused that many customers are numb to it—it’s often just irrelevant.

Who would I recommend my account manager to? Most of us don’t discuss niche web services with friends. The rest of the questions were equally trite and focused on broad outcomes, not specific nuances.

By the way, if this had been a tech support call, linking employee pay to survey ratings could favor quick fixes that might seem right at first—but don’t fully resolve the issue, and leave customers calling back a week later.

How This Hurts Companies 

Unfortunately, this company’s survey only gathered selective, biased feedback (fake customer survey data), and inaccurate customer feedback metrics.

It revealed no valuable insights about the actual quality of the customer experience, or how to improve.

If companies want to master the customer experience to build customer loyalty, they need customer satisfaction surveys that collect accurate, insight-rich  data. Find out more about what our customer satisfaction surveys and other methods can do for you.