Greetings. We all know that customer support is an important business function. The simple capability to respond to customers in a timely and effective way in order to meet their needs and address their problems often determines their loyalty and their success in getting the most value out of our products, services and solutions. We also know that getting real-time feedback is a very good thing. The simple capability to find out quickly if we are meeting customers' expectations and needs. So many companies have decided to combine the two–asking customers at the end of support calls to instantly rate their performance.
And it's not a bad idea, unless our needs haven't yet been met.
Take my recent call to Verizon when our office phones stopped working. Simply lost the will to make calls, provide a dial tone or ring when someone was calling us. Though they were able to transmit the strange voices and conversations of a group of people from what sounded like a galaxy far away. It was a problem that Verizon initially suggested was on our end, though a brief diagnostic test quickly determined that it was more likely somewhere in their network. So they wrote a ticket and put us in line for the next available technician. And I'm optimistic that he or she will arrive and solve our problem sooner than later. But the fact that we would now be waiting to have our problem solved did not prevent the kind woman from the support center from asking us "how we would rate the service that she provided…with '10' being exceptional and '1' being unsatisfactory."
"I apologize," I said feeling somewhat confused. "You seem like a very nice person and I do feel that you have been helpful in listening to my problem and beginning the process of resolving it. But I still have the same problem I called about, and it's hard to give you and Verizon an 'exceptional' rating (or any rating for that matter) until I see how and when it is resolved."
"Not a problem," she said…hopefully still getting credit for our interaction.
We win in business and in life when we are serious about customer feedback. But only after we've actually provided the right service.