Customer Surveys - Validity? Fraud? Are they really of any value?

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration with a Mask on...
Staff member
Admin
#1
Customer Surveys - Validity?

I saw this. Any discussion?
http://reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtm...BAEOCFFA?type=oddlyEnoughNews&storyID=4579297

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Love is ... giving a glowing report on the work of your son or daughter who is employed by Southern California Edison in a customer satisfaction survey.

When Edison customers were surveyed to get feedback, pollsters received answers expressing delight at the service received.

But the objectivity of these results came under question when it was learned that employees had hacked into the data system and changed the phone numbers of those to be surveyed to those of friends and family, the utility said on Monday.
 
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#2
Marc said:
I saw this. Any discussion?
Some comments...

Utilities regulators approved a total of $28 million from 1997 through 2000 for SCE based on customer satisfaction surveys. Potential rewards amounting to $10 million for 2001 and 2002 are still pending before California regulators.
I think this sounds like a tragedy. I suppose those people will find themselves behind bars in due course?

It also sounds like abysmal security... Tons of money involved, and people were still able to access the data. It says they hacked the sytem, but how well defended was it? It's also worth noting that the company did not detect this themselves. Someone blew the whistle...

Tragic...

/Claes
 

bpritts

Involved - Posts
#3
A sad commentary on current morality, or more specifically the lack thereof.

Unfortunately my own industry (automotive) has a more subtle practice of manipulating the numbers. Auto dealers (rated for customer satisfaction by the auto makers, through independent surveys) have a variety of practices to help "educate" their customer on how to fill out the customer satisfaction surveys. I am told that some offer cash incentives to the customers for high scores, although I don't have documentary evidence. I have seen posted signs at some
dealerships "explaining" how to give perfect scores on the surveys.

At least there are no tax dollars being spent based on these.

This same thinking might lead one to warm up a room by holding a lit candle under the thermostat.

Regards,
Brad
 
C

ccochran

#5
Rewards & incentives = worthless customer feedback

Howdy,

This is a perfect example of why I *never* recommend that rewards and incentives be attached to customer feedback results: it almost always results in someone trying to coach the customer in the "right answers" (as in the auto dealership example that Brad cited) or blatantly rigging the results (as in the case of Southern California Edison).

Gathering and acting on trends in customer feedback is always smart business. Attaching rewards to the results is a mistake, though. By its very nature, customer feedback is highly subjective. Adding rewards and incentives just adds another variable to the process, pushing the feedback out of the realm of the subjective and into the realm of the just plain worthless.

Craig

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Craig Cochran
Center for International Standards & Quality
Georgia Institute of Technology
[email protected]
 

Mike S.

Happy to be Alive
Trusted Information Resource
#6
Are they of any value? Is a hammer of any value? Sure it is -- for specific tasks under specific circumstances. Properly used it can be a valuable tool to have in the toolkit; improperly used it can cause a disaster.
 
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