This has been a pet peeve of mine for a long time, and it recently reared its head again.
The Maruti Conundrum: Earlier, when I had a Maruti car, this used to occur at a frequency of about 9 months, when I used to get my car serviced. Each time after my car was serviced (rather well, I should say), someone from the workshop would call and tell me that, I would be getting a survey questionnaire directly from Maruti and they would appreciate if I could mark it all excellent.
I used to get extremely irritated with this. I would have even brushed it off if someone from the workshop and had just asked if I was satisfied and if they could do anything better. But no, they had to bring up the topic of the survey and request me to mark excellent. And this request varied in tone from ‘begging’ sometimes to downright rudely ‘telling’ me to mark excellent.
Each time my response would be something like: ‘I was going to mark excellent, but since you made this call, I am going to mark ‘poor’. Of course, the response again from ‘begging’ not to do so, to ‘I-dont-care’.
PepperFry.com: When you call up Pepperfry.com customer service, at the end of your service transaction the rep requests you to help improve their quality by answering three questions to their IVR. Ideally I would be OK with this, except for two issues:
- I am already paying long distance rates .These guys dont have toll free numbers, and the only contact number is a Pune call center number. Why cant they just send an email questionnaire immediately after the call is finished? They are an online shopping store. And I am sure this can be automated using their IVR (or initiated by the rep). I would bet, they would have a better response than over the phone.
- The Maruti conundrum reared its head once. One of the reps kindly requested me to mark 1 for all questions that were asked. I was floored. Dang. Its the new age. This is customer service of a reputed online retailer. Sure, it happened only once. But the fact that the rep was lured into saying something like this, means, there is a carrot (or a stick) that the rep is being guided by. And that is what is bringing the rep to stoop to this level.
Are there any other ways by which service transactions can be measured? I understand these people are doing work. And the quality of work should be measured. But then, when the carrot/stick method is applied too rigorously, this is what happens.