Sunday, February 15, 2009

Measuring the mastery of customer service at Eyemasters

If you've bought any eyewear at Eyemasters, you've likely received a Customer Comment Card. A few items caught my attention on this questionnaire.

I immediately wondered why the heading of the questionnaire had no spaces.
The grammar of the first question is problematic. I would like to see either the question "How would you rate your level of satisfaction on the following items?" or the instruction "Rate your level of satisfaction on the following:" on the questionnaire.

Two things about the response choices for the first question were rather unique. First, I don't often see the response choice of "unsatisfied" and "very unsatisfied" used on questionnaires. I most often see "dissatisfied" and "very dissatisfied" used instead. Typically there is a middle choice that is a neutral item, such as "neither satisfied nor dissatisfied" but Eyemasters used a "Met Expectations" response choice within the satisfaction response scale on the questionnaire. I don't really understand how that fits. Does that mean that a little "extra" is needed for each category to move from "Met Expectations" up to to satisfaction?

Similarly on the second question, I was intrigued by the middle response choice of "No Opinion" in a likelihood response scale. Many people debate that individuals automatically select the neutral-labelled, midpoint choice when they have not opinion, rather than skipping the question. Eyemasters has clearly labelled its midpoint option as "No Opinion" on the customer feedback questionnaire. However, I guess I expected a neutral option, like "Not sure" instead. Many don't anchor (or label) the response choices for this scale in their questionnaires, by just anchoring both ends with "Very likely" and "Very unlikely" instead.

I personally prefer questionnaires which offer anonymity. Sure, you may say that it is not necessary to include the Rx number or contact information. However, I always look for the items on a questionnaire that provide a hint that a customer can be identified even if those questionnaire items are incomplete. On the questionnaire, I see a barcode. What's in the barcode? Is it simply the store identifier? (If so, that is unnecessary with the "Irving Town Center" clearly identified.) Or, is the customer's account number identified in that bar code? I guess I need one more gadget --- a bar code reader. : )

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A burger for your thoughts

The Wendy's Customer Feedback Survey

As you may recall, I collect surveys, often recognized as those pesky little customer feedback questionnaires you receive after purchasing a product or service. During lunch today I ran a few errands preparing for the worst prior to the expectant ice storm to hit the Dallas area. On my way back to work, I drove through the drive-through at Wendy's for a bowl of hot chili. To my surprise, I noticed the request for customer feedback on the back of my receipt. Some ask you to call to give your feedback on their products and services. Some tempt you into completing the survey with the chance to earn cash from a monthly pool that they give away. With Wendy's it's a solid offer --- a free Single hamburger for your feedback. Tonight I decided to see what was required for that hamburger.

The rules: In order to qualify for the free burger, you must call a toll-free number or complete an online questionnaire within 48 hours of the visit. When completing the survey, you are given a validation code that you are instructed to write on the back of your receipt in the designated area. You must pick up your free burger within 14 days of completing the survey. Also, you can only get one free burger in a 30-day period. And, as with most offers, employees and their families are not eligible.

The questions: I was surprised at the number of questions. Twenty-nine responses were requested during the survey.

  • There were some general questions about the visit, including the country where the restaraunt was located, the store number, the receipt number, the time of day and the amount of purchase. I expected to see a huge list of countries but only the US, Canada, New Zealand, and El Salvador were listed. Could it be that this customer satisfaction experience is only being assessed in these four countries? I wonder how they were selected --- El Salvador seems like an odd choice. There are three from the Americas and one from Asia Pacific, but none from Europe.
  • There were numerous satisfaction questions, about the cleanliness of the parking lot, the wait time to place an order, the greeting at the speaker, the clarity of the speaker system, the accuracy of the order, the temperature of the food, the overall quality of the food, the appearance of the food, and the overall satisfaction with THIS experience at THIS restaraunt. They used a 5-point, anchored scale, on the satisfaction questions. The response choices were listed from negative to positive (i.e., very dissatisfied, dissatisfied, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, dissatisfied, and very dissatisfied). The items were vertically presented usually, unless multiple question items were grouped (e.g., a matrix or table question -- but without the table borders).
  • There were some agreement questions also about the employee friendliness, attentiveness, and neatness. Again, these question response choices were listed in negative to positive order.
  • There was a yes/no question to determine if all items ordered were received. There was also a question to determine if any issue or problem was experienced during the visit.
  • Wendy's wanted to know the likelihood that I would recommend THIS Wendy's restaraunt and the likelihood that I would come back.
  • Some numeric data were requested: the approximate total length of wait time (time joining the line to receiving the order) and the number of people in my party.
  • There were some optional demographic questions, including gender and age. The e-mail address was requested twice: once when arriving at the customer feedback website and once near the end of the questionnaire. I wonder why they asked that twice.
  • Of course, the last question included an inquiry about my interest in participating in additional consumer research. Right before they asked the question, they pitched some ideas about the benefits to me, but I did not take the bait. : )

I wonder:

  • Did everyone get an invitation to complete a survey who visited this Wendy's or was it randomly printed at some sampling rate?
  • How will they know IF someone visits again and completes another survey within 30 days? I bet they either logged my e-mail address or IP address (but that is not static for many people). Because so many people have multiple e-mail addresses, I bet someone could qualify for another free burger within the next 30 days by using another id. Also, one could try using the toll-free telephone number next time.
  • Can someone get another validation code using the same receipt but completing the survey using the toll-free number?
  • Can someone get another validation code by mistyping the current receipt data (because they're likely logging the receipts processed) perhaps a different time for the same receipt? by using another receipt number?
Of course, these are just hypothetical questions...for the purpose of understanding the parameters of their research design.

Anyway, I received my validation code and wrote it on the back of my receipt. My receipt is now posted on my refrigerator --- a good choice for my next fast food run during a quick lunch hour. I'll take my free Single --- and I'll likely grab some fries and a Coke with it too.

Post a comment if you've received a free Single after completing a Wendy's customer satisfaction survey. Also, if you agreed to participate in future consumer research for Wendy's, tell us about it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tell us what you think

It's a simple question and is rarely asked: How did we do? That's the basis of the example customer satisfaction survey from Kohl's. Kohl's notes on this customer satisfaction survey form that they're dedicated to providing a "great shopping experience that offers quality and stylish merchandise and service that exceeds your expectations." Kohl's provides a simple form with just the single open-end question. Kohl's form also suggests three other ways to provide feedback if the customer does not have the time to complete the form: by contacting the manager on duty, by e-mailing Customer Service, and by calling a toll-free Customer Service number.

There's also a rather unique additional item on the Kohl's customer satisfaction form: an opportunity to thank any Kohl's Associate responsible for exceeding your expectations. Kohl's apparently uses these forms as input on who to reward for a great job performed.

Monday, December 22, 2008

You call, we haul

Many service providers will request your opinion after performing a service for you. Here's an example of a brief questionnaire that was created by a team responsible for office and equipment moves. You'll almost immediately notice that custom graphics are used to correspond to response choices. It combines a checkbox response approach with graphics that match the service provided. A rather interesting approach used to gather opinions by the team.....

Opinions count and I count opinions

This is the first post of my new blog on the tips and tools used by researchers to gather opinions. I believe opinions count and I also count opinions. I particularly count the opinions of the employees in my company. I'm a research manager in an international information technology company. In a graduate survey research class, we were challenged to bring to each class meeting (remember the days when you actually attended a class, seated in a classroom with a live professor?) an example survey to critique. We reviewed the questionnaires --- the design, the construction, the questions, the response choices, and the little things often hidden on questionnaires. I have quite a collection of survey questionnaires, but could never have enough. On this blog, I'll share with you some of the questionnaires that I have collected over time. Oh, I'll also share my opinion about them too. Hopefully, you'll find something interesting or informative. If you're in the opinion bait business or if you're thinking about conducting your own survey, perhaps you'll find something of interest on this new blog.
Image credit: NetBase Corporation