How not to conduct customer feedback

My wife and I are considering purchasing a new home. My wife is particularly drawn to a certain neighborhood so we quickly devised a plan to scout out this area. While searching the neighborhood, we stumbled upon a builder that has a wonderful product with many features that you might pay extra for someplace else. It looked intriguing.

While researching the builder on the Internet, we discovered that the builder received poor customer service scores in years past. Being in the survey research industry, this particularly concerned me.

The sales associate for the homebuilder assured us that the company has been through a complete 180-degree turnaround and now entirely focuses on customer satisfaction. In fact, the pay for each employee is based on the satisfaction levels of their customers (a thumbs up from me!).

The sales associate said that the company sends each customer a survey to take after the home is complete (another thumbs up). But now for the downside. The sales associate in the same breath said, “and for those that come in and fill out the survey with me, I will give them a $50 gift certificate to the place of their choice.”

Has the company really made the change to focus more on the customer or has it just found a way to “game” the feedback system? This is similar to parent talking with their child’s teacher about preparing their child for the future only to have the teacher say, “We take standardized testing very seriously. In fact, we only teach the questions and answers to the tests in our classrooms thereby ensuring a high test score!” Higher test scores? –Probably. A real education? –Highly doubtful. In both scenarios, what we are truly looking for is a great experience, and not a great appearance!

If we do not allow our customers to feel free to speak their minds and to not have their answers immediately disputed, then what is the point of even asking for customer feedback? What are your thoughts?

4 Responses

  1. […] some consumers have the opposite experience. Listen to what Bill had to say about his experience with a homebuilder he did business with: The sales associate said […]

  2. Great post. A Customer Satisfaction program, when done right, is great! When done wrong gives does no good.

  3. Larry,

    Thanks for your comments. I love your blog. For those who have not visted, please visit

  4. […] some consumers have the opposite experience. Listen to what Bill had to say about his experience with a homebuilder he did business […]

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