I’m not sure if this is a universal thing, or if it’s just my inbox that has been invaded by people who have no regard for my time. I’ve gotten used to survey requests after every leg of every flight and train ride. I’ve gotten used to Amazon and other online retailers pestering me to review books and products, including those I purchased as gifts. I’ve even gotten used to so-called research surveys.
You should know that “gotten used to” is code for “I’m comfortable ignoring.”
However, comfortable I am with the whole process of ignoring people, I can still be surprised and made to shake my head and mutter. For example, I recently received this email:
Subject: Take 17 minutes out of your day to learn about PSA
Professional Services Automation On-Demand Demo See the #1 PSA Built on Salesforce in action WATCH DEMO NOW]
As a services professional, do you want to manage your people, customers, projects and financials on one integrated platform? If the answer is yes, you’re in need of a Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution. PSA gives you the visibility and power to drive revenue growth, improve margins and deliver on your promises.
First off, no male over the age of 50 wants to see ‘PSA’ in the subject line of an email. Second, I don’t make promises I can’t keep and third: 17 minutes? 17 MINUTES? If your product takes 17 minutes to demonstrate, it better include robots, and they should be able to read handwriting, sing, dance, buy groceries, bake cookies as good as my wife’s, deliver pizza, change the oil in my car, pour a beer without losing a drop, shoot straight and tell a joke with perfect timing.
If 17 minutes of watching a demo sounds like your idea of Hell, how about a 41 second voice mail message?
I normally read and delete voice mail messages based on the speech-to-text rendering in my email inbox. This voice mail “couldn’t be processed – it was either too long or indecipherable.” Great, just the kind of thing I want to hear.
The message was for a mechanical services company. I hung up as soon as the guy mentioned how I would be impressed with their client list, which includes Yale University and… Yeah, because that is so similar. Just yesterday, I was asking my boss if we should renovate the Library next year or the Chemistry building.
We are a 30-person company that rents a few thousand square feet of office space in a building where the landlord is responsible for all the mechanical services. Just for grins, I googled our company address, and in 10 seconds I had found the name of the property owner. If the guy had done that, he could have saved himself 31 seconds.
The last survey request I want to mention is the one I received after taking my car to the dealer for a recall involving the passenger airbag. This is the dealership who lied to me when I brought my car in for service and then lied to me again when I called them out for lying to me. They sent me a survey about the service I received. Just prior to that, they sent me an email, stressing how important it is for them to receive all 10s.
“We consider anything other than a 10 to be unacceptable so please give us 10s.”
What’s the point of sending me a survey with multiple questions on a 1-to-10 scale if you want all 10s? Why not just send a survey that looks like the one below?
On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = disagree completely and 10 = agree completely) how would you react to the following statements?
I was satisfied with the service I received
□ 10 □ NA
Thank you for your time.
I didn’t give them all 10s. In fact, I gave them a few 6s, a 3 and a couple of 2s. If they had stuck to the recall, I could have given them 10s, but they wanted to know if I agreed with things like: “Based on this service, I am more inclined to buy a car from this dealer.” See, that’s just not ever happening again, so…2.
I could go on, but…