Customer Service Surveys – An Object Lesson?

This week, I received two invitations to take part in customer service surveys. The first came from AVIVA, the UK insurance giant, and the other from BlueHost, my US web hosts. What a difference!

Let me explain.

The AVIVA online questionnaire comprised 6 pages and 12 questions and it took a good 10 minutes to fill in. (See later why I did so.)

The BlueHost one had 1 page and 2 simple questions:


Click for Bluehost

1) How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?


2)What is the primary reason for your answer?

And it took seconds to do and click to send. (I wonder which company will get the most response?)

It is fair to say that AVIVA did ask if I would recommend them, but, crucially, they only asked me to qualify my answer by stating why I WOULDN’T recommend them. (How negative!)


I presume they believe that they know why people would recommend them, based on the answers to the other 10 questions. But let us look at those questions:

They wanted to know if there were any financial services companies from whom I “really enjoyed” receiving emails? What? Enjoy receiving junk mail?

(No, but I almost enjoyed the simplicity of BlueHost’s approach)

Then they asked me how important UK Call Centres were? But didn’t allow me to cast an opinion about any other call centres or, indeed, call centres at all! (At least a ‘No Opinion’ button would have allowed me to offer just that – no opinion) I couldn’t avoid this mandatory question, I had to cast an opinion about something that had no relevance to me (although, obviously they think it is relevant)


However, for me, the killer is this. Without offering a ‘none’ alternative, they wanted to know:

What content would you most like to receive from AVIVA?

Well what about none? Where is the option to say that? (don’t forget, if you don’t answer, you don’t get to go on with the rest of the survey – an answer is ‘mandatory’) Whatever my answer, I was going to have to choose some content.

And how likely am I to unsubscribe from AVIVA’s future e-mails? On a scale of 1 to 10 – about 12 I should think!

You might ask why I filled in AVIVA’s questionnaire?

The chance to win £100 of Marks & Spencer gift vouchers, of course. (OK call me an opportunistic cheapskate!) I filled in their questionnaire with any old answer, and then immediately unsubscribed. (Sorry, that’s just me)

Maybe, one day, people in marketing departments in large companies who value what they measure, rather than measuring what’s valuable, will wake up to the pointlessness of what they are doing.

And, finally, who do you think I gave the most honest response to? Who do you think would get the most value from their customer survey? Who secured my ongoing loyalty? Guess.

3 Responses to Customer Service Surveys – An Object Lesson?

  1. monitor website July 17, 2013 at 1:52 am #

    Individuals in promotion divisions in huge organizations who value what they evaluate, rather than calculating what exactly is useful, will awaken to the pointlessness of what they are doing.

    • Jeeny September 1, 2015 at 6:38 am #


  2. William P. Roy November 17, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    Facts and other points given here are quite considerable and to the point as well, would be so far better to look for more of these kind for efficient results.

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