My retail experience of buying a new phone

I bought a new phone yesterday. My Nexus worked fine but the battery wasn’t holding a charge for long. Did the research and decided on a droid noted for it’s larger battery (LG Power X).customerserviceform-56a82fb55f9b58b7d0f16361

Anyhoo, had one of the most fun retail experience ever. The 3 store employees were a riot, and happy to see me, high fives upon entry, etc (I called ahead to ensure the model was in stock). It was genuine, and it was impressive.

But that’s not the story. The store manager asked me about my work. I’m involved in customer feedback surveys I replied. We got to talking about that, for a long time. Specifically, the pressure they’re under to receive 9s & 10s from their surveyed customers. More to the point, and the reason I decided to write this, is because he handed me a postcard sized cheat sheet that he and team provide to their customers, essentially how to fill out the survey. I was tempted to add the pic here, but the font is tiny and the carrier is ID’d and that won’t help anyone.

There was a snippet of the questions, with a column added at the end, reading:

10=A, 9=B, 8-7=D, 6-1=F.

The manager and I talked at length about how the postcard, employee pressure and extreme rating curve corrupts the feedback process. I recall when I bought my current car years ago from the dealer, I was given this similar flyer (and received a tense phone call from the regional manager weeks later as I gave the dealer 7s & 8s). In fact I’ve received many ‘helper’ survey cards from retailers. Have you as well?

More than a bit depressing, when hard working employees are considered poor or worse when they receive a 7 or 6 on a survey. And doesn’t reflect all that well on the consumer & retail feedback space, which many of us in market research are directly involved in. Do our obligations end when we design, sell, and manage a survey project? Shouldn’t we involve ourselves beyond that, re implementation, training, encouraging the removal of the stick from the carrot and stick, etc?

What do you think?

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