The world is a flaming hellhole right now and I know many folks feel like there isn’t really shit you can do about anything for anyone. But, there is one small, relatively easy thing you can do that will help folks in the service industry and potentially annoy management as a bonus.
I’m talking about customer service surveys.
Fill them out. Give all 10’s. (Or 5’s, or Excellent’s, or whatever the top score is.) No matter if it was awful or great, just go all top notch on every category.
In many places, if an employee doesn’t get top scores on every line, it might as well be zero on every line. So your 9/10 – well, it isn’t, “Hey, 90% is still an A!” It’s an F. And chances are, management is using a CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) metric that is internally set, rarely readdressed for any actual indication of effectiveness, and makes employees miserable.
Folks, service industry jobs are HARD, you’re only seeing this person in the context of maybe 5% of their day, if that. That is not at all representative of that employee as a whole. So, maybe you didn’t walk out feeling like Queen for a Day. If a survey shows up in your inbox or you app, fill it out and give that employee the gift of not getting yelled at by management. Remember how much shit is OUT OF THEIR CONTROL. Remember how many people do not bother to fill these out, and pissed off people are more likely to fill them out than happy people, so a bad survey just carries more weight because it just has less good ones to offset it.
If you can’t bring yourself to do a good survey, just LET IT GO. Cause guess what? You may think your bad survey will help things. “They’ll look at this policy again! They’ll do better training for employees!” They won’t. Don’t use the survey to complain about something completely unrelated to the experience at hand – that doesn’t help either. And really, really think about why you’re not happy – is there a chance you’re taking out some other frustration on this employee via the survey?
You may be thinking, “Hmm, dear author, does your job use surveys, and did you get a bad one recently?” Yes, we do use them, and no, my surveys have been fine. But management is on a tear, which is why it’s on my mind right now.
But I have gotten ones in the past that when the comments were read, the ratings were CLEARLY in response to an interaction with another department. The reaction?
One of my coworkers… Client has X happening, which happens once in a blue moon. Coworker fixed it in minutes, last client response was, “Great!! Thanks!!” and they signed off the chat. Well, they then responded with a bad survey. Turns out X was happening constantly, which they DID NOT MENTION, and they said they thought the survey was the perfect place to mention this. No, no, no, the survey was NOT THE PLACE to do that.
For me personally, all my survey responses represent 5.03% of my total work. (And I have a freakishly high response rate.) A single survey is 0.04% of what I do. (I have done the math.) Why are we pinning to a metric that only represents 15-25 minutes of someone’s day, if even that much? Would you want that in your job?
“Oh, but dear author, are you practicing what you preach?” YOU BET YOUR SWEET ASS I AM. Starbucks wants to know about my visit? All 10’s. The grocery store has a survey link at the bottom of the receipt? Done and glowing. Cable company tech support? God help me, I am not getting you fired, coached, yelled at, or otherwise made miserable.
So, fill out those surveys. Be kind. Help out your fellow humans. Maybe make someone realize a flood of surveys is meaningless and they’ll be dropped somewhere.