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Old November 22nd, 2013, 01:16 PM
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Mike M Mike M is offline
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I have to agree. I am totally sick and tired of "surveys". You make a call to any call center, to any company, for any reason, and the next thing you get is a phone call or an email asking to take a survey on how well the person did.

It is really becoming ridiculous. The other thing that also irritates me is that if you don't give the highest rating, many companies, cruise lines included, will consider it a negative to the individual and it will be a mark against the person. It is also a negative if you don't do the survey.

I'm sorry but there are few things I will rate "beyond my expectations" or excellent. There is always room for improvement and if someone does their job in a timely, efficient and friendly manner, I'm happy.

In my professional life I was considered a hard guy when it came to evaluations. I had the job descriptions and duties well defined so people knew what they should be doing and what their job was. Most companies use a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being low and 5 being high. 3 meant you were doing your job as defined and there were no problems. Most people would score in the 3 to 4 range and if you were in the 1 or 2 range we would determine why and steps would be taken to rectify the problem. If the person didn't change then they were gone. Sometimes it was as simple as getting someone the right training, determining what motivated them (it isn't always money) or they just had a bad attitude and needed to be fired or moved to an area that they could do a better job. The only time I would "fudge" this was when the evaluation score was directly tied to compensation. Just because someone is doing their job, as defined, doesn't mean they don't deserve a "cost of living" raise. If I did this then the individual, and my boss, knew that I had done this.

What companies need to do is:

1. Train your management and employees to deliver excellent service and protect the corporation.

2. Empower people to make decisions.

If they make the wrong decision let them know why it was the wrong decision and what they could or should have done so they don't repeat it but don't put a black mark on them for making a decision. I never fired anyone for taking action, even if it was not in the best interest of the company. As long as it was in the best interest of the customer and management was informed there was not a problem. Yes: There are limits. A salesperson or technician cannot give away a $100,000 system or promise something that cannot be delivered. With proper training people know what is possible and what isn't.

3. Reward people for delivering good service and get rid of those who don't. A good manager knows who is doing this without sending out a survey to every customer.

I also hated it when the CD or someone on the service staff literally told you that you "had" to give the top score or they would not get the good cabins or it would hurt their record. Ridiculous and it reduced good people to "begging". It is demeaning to them.

A survey can be a good tool for helping improve service but it should not be the only one you use to make decisions. Like any tool, it should not be overused. When my daughter was a young girl, she was doing needlepoint. She made a needlepoint that hung in my office that said: "If you only have a hammer then every problem looks like a nail."

Corporations really need to look into themselves for answers. Heal thyself and your customers will be happy.

Take care,
Mike
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