C-Suite Network™

The Responsibility is Too High

After making a purchase, it’s common to receive a survey asking about your experience. For the most part, companies are seeking to either, see how they can improve or how the customer feels about their business. It’s your chance to express your opinion. Companies put a lot of weight on surveys which means a lot of responsibility for the customer, so careful thought should be given.

Surveys can be about facilities, logistics, or salespeople. The question you should ask before diving in is… What is this survey pertaining to? There’s something the business wants to know. By understanding what they are evaluating your answers will be helpful.

When it comes to a salesperson’s survey, most customers do not know how to answer them correctly. A survey of the person who worked with you is not the time to complain about the company. The survey is about the salesperson. You would be blaming the wrong person for your unhappiness. Here’s what happens.

The salesperson’s survey is going to his manager. It does not get to the management or ownership of the business. Unfortunately, many businesses will ask questions on the salesperson’s survey about their experience overall, but don’t be fooled. Whatever you answer will affect the salesperson.

If you are upset with how your last visit went, don’t blame the person you are working with now. When you do, you are rating your current salesperson for what happened. Or if you think it took too long for the service department to get your item fixed don’t blame the salesperson. Unless he’s the one fixing your item, he doesn’t have control over the amount of time it took. He also doesn’t have control over how the cashier treated you. Your opinion will not get to those who can do something about it.

Stay on topic. The survey is about the person who helped you, your salesperson. In some cases, they get paid less. If their normal commission is 25%, it can be cut to 15%, because of someone or something outside the salesperson’s control.

Another example would be if your delivery was late or your items didn’t come in on time. It’s not the salesperson’s fault. They weren’t the ones delivering it to you or the one who will go and pick up the item. Don’t blame the salesperson.

Here’s an example I heard from a single mother with two children. She sold a $187.00 chair to a customer, telling him he has to put it together and that the sale was final. The customer stated he would be able to do it.

When the customer took it home, he decided he didn’t like it. The sale was final, but he wanted to return it. After the store told him no, he decided to blame the salesperson stating she lied to him so the store would allow him to return it, which he did. The customer filled out the survey on the salesperson and rated her a zero. On a scale from 1 to 10 a zero is horrific. But, the customer was happy because he was able to bring the chair back.

The outcome for the salesperson was devastating. As expected, she did lose the commission of $3.37. Okay. The score of zero meant she did not get her $1000.00 bonus that month, all because of a customer. Now you see the importance of filling out a survey correctly.

A problem with surveys is you are not given a key explaining what the scores mean. Some scales are from 1 to 5, or 1 to 10. Without understanding the ratings how can you accurately pick a number? There is a practice widely used and that is; if you score anything lower than the highest rating the salesperson fails in the eyes of the company.

You might notice when you take your car in to be serviced the attendant presses you to take the survey and give him a perfect score. What they are telling you is anything lower than the highest number will affect them negatively. They could lose money, privileges, promotion, even their job. If you are upset with how your car was washed, don’t rate the salesperson who didn’t wash the car. Anything on that survey goes against the service attendant.

Here is the company’s view from your survey. Using a system of 1 to 10 for their rating, it’s not uncommon for the scale to represent:

A score of 9 or 10 is good – it helps the salesperson

A score of 7 or 8 doesn’t hurt or help the salesperson

A score of below 7 is like giving the salesperson a zero

My practice is to give the salesperson the highest score. I don’t want the burden of taking food away from a family. If I have something to complain about I write it in the comment space. I handle a problem with a salesperson by making comments on the survey so their manager will see, but I still give them the highest rating.

I take every survey I am given. Most people only fill out a survey when they are unhappy, which means that one bad survey can blow it for a salesperson. It takes fifteen good surveys to outweigh one bad one. If you were happy with your experience, take the survey and help them out.

Receiving a survey is a huge responsibility, so take it seriously. Score it by only addressing the overall topic. If you are unhappy with the situation or the salesperson give them a high rating, putting in the notes what you didn’t like. Your comment will get to the manager of the salesperson who can address it with them. If you are happy with your experience, send in the survey with the highest grading to counteract those who don’t know the significance of the ratings.

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