Friday, February 15, 2013

The purposes of surveys - Safelite repair, Safelite replace, Safelite sell

When you do business with a company, you are sometimes asked to complete a survey about your experience. Often it becomes very clear how this survey is used. Has a service provider ever said this to you?

Thank you for using BigCo's Widget Cleaning Service. In two days, you will receive a survey and will be asked to rate my performance. I hope that you give me an extremely high rating as your service provider.

Survey results are often used for employee compensation and bonuses, as you can guess. But they are also used for other purposes.

Last Friday morning I was driving down the freeway to work and found myself behind a truck that was spitting out some gravel. On Friday afternoon, I noticed a nice big crack in the lower left corner of my windshield.

Before I got a chance to ask Jimmy Voitel for his recommendation, I called my auto insurance company to find out their procedures. I didn't know if they had a preferred provider, but if they did, I assumed that it would be some company that I had never heard of, and probably not a company that appears to spend its entire budget on advertising.

When I called my insurance company, they emphasized that I could use any service provider that I wished, but that they would be happy to set me up with - Safelite.

Another Jim Bakker "I was wrong" moment for me. Yes, I'm admittedly suspicious of companies that seem to advertise all over the place, but in this case it appears that my insurance provider was happy to recommend them. Perhaps Safelite has agreed to standard rates that are beneficial to the insurance company, but on the other hand an insurance company isn't going to recommend a service provider that does shoddy work, since it would require more effort for the insurance company itself to keep the customer happy.

So I set up an appointment with Safelite, and the technician did the work (even taking the trouble to transfer a parking sticker from the old windshield to the new).

Oh, and the technician said that I'd be receiving an email survey that would only take a couple of minutes to complete, and it would be nice if I completed it.

I received the survey, and as expected, Safelite asked a number of questions about their service. Did the technician perform the work to your satisfaction? Was our telephone staff helpful? That sort of thing.

But at the end of the survey, there was a slightly different question.

Yes, surveys can be used for multiple purposes. Remember that people with cars are not the only customers of Safelite; insurance companies are also customers. Obviously Safelite will use this data - if it's positive - in its dealings with the insurance companies. They'll probably say something like this:

96.7 percent of all survey respondents say that Safelite windshield repair and replacement is an important feature of their VroomVroom Auto Insurance policy. Now you want to keep your customers happy, don't you? So you'll keep recommending us, won't you?

When you construct a survey for your business, take the opportunity to include questions that provide data for all segments of your business. Which reminds me of the final question that I saw:

Now I work with a bunch of writers, and when I shared this question with them, one of them pointed out that the question didn't ask about making a POSITIVE difference. For example, I could certainly make a difference working for Safelite, but it wouldn't be a good one.

Whoops, sorry! I dropped your new windshield before I installed it. Here, let me gather up the pieces for you, since you already paid for it. And here's some duct tape to attach the pieces together if you want to try to put it in yourself. I certainly can't do it.

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