When I first starting surveying customers after a service visit, the surveys were this long:

They contained around 25 questions, took “forever” to complete, and yielded so much data that we never had the time or resources to produce actionable insight.  And we never provided any feedback to the respondents about what we learned and what we were going to improve.

Those were the days when the vendor was King or Queen and customers were afraid to not complete the survey for fear that we would somehow punish them!

Well, times have changed.

Today, the customers are Kings and Queens and the vendors (that would be me) are constantly trying to create value for our customers and trying even harder to not waste their time.  And now the post service survey has been reduced to the absolute minimum number of questions. Like this:

Coincidentally, I received two email surveys today.  The first is from my Web hosting and support firm.  They respond to email questions automatically (that means less than 5 minutes from when I open the ticket).  They were a little slow today handling my request because it took them about 15 minutes to do something that has been bothering me for a while.

I am the only person who writes blog posts for this website and my content management system only allows people to be identified as author if they have a company email address. I wanted the ability to select either myself or “Guest Author” for when I post a guest blog.  Now I have that capability!

They set up a dummy email address and I got the second author.  After a back-and-forth exchange of emails, the ticket was closed out.  Along with the close ticket message came this survey:

Pretty cool, right?  But the only way for them to get any detail is to hope that the customer will add something useful in the Comment box.  And if someone tells them they are awesome, they have no idea why.  I think people will send comments for the Just Okay and Not Good choices although I doubt if the web folks ever earn that feedback.

Yesterday, I had a plumber do some work on a sink at my house.  Their system is to have the technicians drop off their work tickets at their office first thing next morning.  So, that means that my slip was delivered to the plumber’s office by 8AM.  At 1:22PM, I received an email with a nice thank you message and my invoice.  I had the choice of sending a check or calling them with my credit card information.  (I know that a more modern system would have me enter my credit card information and the system would process it without any interaction on their part but I like the person there and enjoy the repartee when I call.)  A few minutes later, I received the “PAID” invoice and this simple survey:

I checked the left hand emoji and immediately received this more elaborate survey:

This survey now tells the service provider how I feel about the plumbing service they provided and also why I feel the way I do.

Can you ask for anything more?  And, because the survey is so short and easy, I know I will continue to provide feedback.  It helps keep these two companies delivering great service.  If you live near me (Framingham, MA) I am happy to provide all the information for you to contact either company and take advantage of their great service.  For the plumber, you had better be a neighbor because I doubt they would travel Internationally to fix a sink!

Key Takeaway

Are you providing this kind of survey to collect feedback after you perform a service activity? Because of things like I just described, this is what we now expect from our B2B service providers.