The downsides of a telephone survey

Why a telephone survey is not always the best option – By Bob Kobek, president CustomerCount®

The other night I am home with my family and the phone rings. After answering, a woman’s voice announces who she is and what firm she is representing.

She explains her organization is conducting a customer feedback telephone survey and asked if I would like to participate. I said; “yes, as long as it doesn’t take more than five minutes”. The woman assured me it wouldn’t take longer than five minutes. So, we begin.

The young lady begins by asking a question and then giving me the answers that correlate to the numbers one thru five. You know the routine. Answer five if completely satisfied, four if somewhat dissatisfied, three if neutral and so on.

I appreciate the call agent informing me of the answer selections and what number they coincide with on the telephone survey. What I have a problem with is the call agent reviews that same list after every question. I found myself cutting the call agent off when she was reciting the options to shorten the time spent taking this survey. Reason being, my time is valuable and I want to get back to my family.

After about eight minutes into the telephone survey, I ask if this is almost over because you promised me the survey would only take five minutes. The call agent stated she had just a couple of more questions for me.

After the fifth question, I stopped her and said that I was done. They had taken all the time I originally committed to and they overextended that time allotment.

I wonder how often this happens for others. I bet it happens more times than you think. Our time is precious. Especially if we take time out of our day to provide feedback to a firm we conduct business with periodically.

If the firm had used an online customer feedback solution with a “save the survey” feature, I would have been more inclined to revisit the survey and completed it. I believe this method of gathering consumer intelligence is more effective as it takes into consideration that not all surveys can be completed in one sitting.

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