Stop Surveying (And Ignoring) Your Customers

I just ran into a great (negative) example of my 6th CXtipDon’t waste customers’ time asking them questions unless you are prepared to act on what they say.

1511_TextMsgSurveyWe were on vacation at a very nice resort (the name of the resort is not relevant for my discussion). During our second day at the hotel, we received a text message that led to the interaction in the graphic on the right.

To summarize, we were asked to rate our experience on a scale of 1 to 10. We gave it a 7, and listed a number of problems that we had run into. We got back a text saying it was great to hear and asked us “what could we do next time to make sure your experience is excellent?

We said to read the previous text (with our list of problems) and we have not heard back since.

Here’s another way to tell this story.

Resort leader(s) decided that it was a good idea to survey its customers and get some data. Company asks customer to give a number. When it gets its number, the company sends back a standard question and ignores the response.

The results:

  • Customer feels ignored, lowering his overall experience.
  • Company sees this as a success… it has a number!

It’s Time To Stop Surveying Customers

Over the last few years, it seems as if masses of companies have decided to start “measuring” customer experience. They seem to view this as a strategy. It’s not!

Instead of surveying customers (which leads to these types of dysfunctional interactions), focus on improving customer experience. As I said in the CXtip above, don’t waste everyone’s time unless you are committed to making improvements.

Instead of surveying customers, ask customers questions that help you make their experiences better. And do something with what you learn.

The bottom line: Stop surveying, start improving.

Written by 

I am a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

3 thoughts on “Stop Surveying (And Ignoring) Your Customers”

  1. A simple yet effective example used to get a point across. It is the perfect depiction of what companies do wrong and what they must do in order to improve customer experiences.

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