Bias in Face to Face Customer Satisfaction Surveys

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Is there bias in face to face customer satisfaction surveys?

Let’s say you decide to try a new restaurant. The friendly waitress suggests wines as well as offers appetizer and dinner specials. You decide to skip the appetizer and just order your main dish off the menu. Your meal arrives promptly with good sized portions, beautifully presented, and your waitress leaves you to enjoy your meal.  There is just one problem. The food tastes horrible! It certainly isn’t the worst meal you have ever had, but it’s a meal that is plain and very little flavor. The restaurant did not make any mistakes, but you have no intention of returning the meal and demanding a new one. Instead, you quietly continue to eat your meal and make a mental note that you would never return to the restaurant.

The general manager stops by your table and asks how your meal is. Your response is “Very good, thank you.” You have no reservations about telling others about the bad meal, but when confronted by the restaurant manager, you feel compelled to make him feel good about the food rather than give a truthful answer. The manager is then left with the impression that the meal tasted good and that he has secured a future customer. It wasn’t all a lie, however. The wait staff was very attentive and friendly, the atmosphere was great, but the food was just plain bad. Because of the nature of the situation, true opinions were not given, and the restaurant will lose a customer.

What are the problems with face to face customer satisfaction surveys? 

The previous is a textbook example of the problems that arise in face to face customer satisfaction surveys. Without anonymity, customer feedback is unlikely to be as truthful, direct, and most importantly, accurate as it would be if the customer satisfaction survey were administered anonymously.

Anonymity can be especially difficult for the service industry, where the provider of the service has direct contact with the customer, and acquires immediate feedback upon delivering the service. It is the nature of most customers to avoid confrontation, especially if they have no intention of purchasing products or services from that provider again.

Avoid Face to Face Bias 

Face to face bias is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when attempting to acquire customer feedback.  To avoid bias, it is best to administer anonymous customer satisfaction surveys. Anonymous surveys administered online, as an email message, on mobile phones, or even as paper surveys, allows customers the freedom to speak their mind, and provide meaningful feedback in a less direct way, free from the influence of sales or service staff.

Snap Survey Software is an advanced survey software tool for developing effective customer satisfaction surveys. Snap Surveys also has internal research experts who can design and conduct your anonymous customer surveys. By using such methods, you will be able to administer a cost effective survey that will guarantee your customers of their anonymity, while providing you with honest and straightforward feedback. So, if you want to outsource your customer satisfaction survey to ensure the anonymity of your customers’ responses, contact our experienced projects team for more information.

Connect with your customers: pre-built survey

Our ready-to-run Customer Satisfaction solution has everything you need to put your customers first.

  • Up to 17 attitude questions to evaluate your Customer Happiness Index
  • NPS (Net Promoter Score) measures how highly your customers value you
  • In-built reports that summarise your data for fast action
  • Easy set up, ready to run in a few minutes
  • Full privacy policy included
  • GDPR data compliance
  • All data securely stored on UK servers

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