Customer Service Phone Survey Requests: Best to Say Yes?

Today I had to call customer service regarding a service I subscribe to. At the beginning of the call, before I was connected to a representative, the recording asked, “Would you agree to take a brief survey after the call? If so, press 1.”

I’ve heard this request dozens of times, and pretty much every time I don’t do it. I’m already spending an undetermined amount of time doing something I don’t want to do, so why extend it?

However…what if you get better customer service (or a better queue position) if you press 1?

That’s what I tried on today’s call. I pressed 1. I don’t know if it mattered at all–the sample size is too small.

But I’m curious if customers who preemptively agree to respond to the survey are treated better than other customers. I doubt it, but why even ask in the first place? Every call could just launch right into the survey at the end, and you could choose to hang up or not.

What do you think? Does it make a difference to press 1, or does it not matter?

3 Responses to “Customer Service Phone Survey Requests: Best to Say Yes?”

  1. Joe Pilkus says:

    It’s funny you write about this…I too have often thought, “Am I going to get better customer service?” Which is kind of interesting…you’re still in control. If they provide great service, wonderful! They’ll get a raving review. If they prove sub-par, you’ve the chance to provide “areas for improvement” in your survey.

  2. Stephen Werness says:

    Sometimes those surveys may affect the job of who you spoke with. Wells Fargo had a rating of 1-5, 5 being the best that you could give for the person who helped you that day. The thing was though that a 1-4 got the employee wrote up. I will sometimes give perfect ratings just to help out an employee of a company even though I’m not fond of the company because I would hate to affect someone’s job.

  3. MrMR (ZeroCubed BGG) says:

    Interesting observation and question.

    To frame my response; I hail from Australia. I have worked (but no longer do) as an agent, team leader, service delivery manager, trainer and development manager in call centres for a couple of what were classified as ‘Top 200’ companies here in Oz.

    In the last couple of years call centres here have transitioned from the agent asking a few feedback questions at the end of the call to automated feedback systems.

    Very few give you the ‘option’ to take the survey here. Instead they either advise you, when you initially hit the queue and before an agent answers; to stay on the line after the call to answer a “short survey” or the agent will ask you at the conclusion of the call to hold on the line for a few moments to answer a small survey. Or at the extreme end you get an unsolicited SMS/email 1-5 days post the contact asking for feedback; from a single 1-10 scale question up to a 10 min full web serviced survey via a 3rd party agency.

    From behind the scenes, in all the instances I have been involved with, across several sectors, there have not been any queue management rules in place to positively prioritise survey respondents over those that opt out. Not to say it would not be easy to do so; but in the end providing a positive experience to only those that respond to the surveys defeats the purpose of identifying issues in the service delivery and would skew the results.

    From behind the scenes, aside from the figures ending up in internal reporting up the chain to management, most of the data exported is used by call centre operations management to target capacity planning, agent training, confirm effect of changes on customer experience and as an additional subjective/emotional metric to the reems of raw statistical data most service delivery centres output.

    Besides, most operations dont have the time, resources or budget to do much more than what the initial data was collected for.

    We have these grand visions of complex forecasting models and amazing software to pinpoint real-time issues with fancy outputs. In reality a lot of the time it is some over worked, stressed, team member trying to crunch the numbers output from call centre software that doesn’t exactly do what the business needs – all in Excel because they just happened to help a manager one day and did a pivot table and are now deemed an excel ‘expert’ by the business 🙂

    – what if you get better customer service (or a better queue position) if you press 1?
    I would see this as entering a bias into the results, especially if the survey questions are around experience.

    – Does it make a difference to press 1, or does it not matter?
    From personal experience I/the businesses I have worked for, have used the results to improve internal processes and the service delivery albeit slowly.
    It has helped immensely with confirming what the statistical data says, and in several instances highlighted that one can’t rely on the ‘Hard’ data from the system when a statistically significant number of customer responses expresses an emotional contradiction to results.
    As such, where I can, I undertake post engagement surveys when offered.

    Love the blog.
    Would never have found it if it wasn’t from your interviews and information from the team over at the OnBoardGames podcast over the years!


Leave a Reply