When customer feedback goes awry

Over the last couple of years I have got my Mahindra Scorpio serviced at the same service station (Vijay Auto). The fact that this service station actively sought customer feedback (the mere act …let alone how they responded) was actually a source of satisfaction for me all along.

Until, a couple of incidents changed my opinion –

  • Quite a few of the cars that come for servicing are driver (chauffeur) driven. Accordingly, the cars are dropped & picked from the service station by the drivers. On a recent visit, I found that the service agents were treating the drivers extra nicely. The reasoning behind this nice gesture became apparent when I saw the service agents cajoling the drivers to fill in the feedback forms. No efforts were spared to gain maximum mileage of the drivers providing feedback on behalf of the owners.
  • It was then my turn to provide feedback. This time it was their call center. Thanks for your business …hope it was nice …would like a couple of minutes of your precious time ..rate 5 different aspects of the service on scale of 1 (worst) – 10 (best). All fine so far. The issue started when I responded with a rating of 7 to the first question. I was quickly reminded that the company average was 8 & they were trying to increase the rating. I was given a chance to change my rating. No thanks ..lets proceed to the next question. My next response was a rating of 8. I was reminded all over again about the company average ..and an improvement needed a rating of more than 8!!

A very good example of good intent … being put to action too ..but teething problems in proper implementation would mean that the true benefits to the organization start accuring very late. Hope someone from Vijay Auto or M&M read this soon.

How could this have been avoided?

  • In all probability, the initiative has meant that maximizing customer feedback has made its entry into employee’s KPIs. Sadly the focus has been on feedback ratings only & not the true intent of the feedback mechanism.
  • It would be a great idea for sponsors of such initiatives to actually experince the feedback mechanism every once in a while.
  • I was pretty surprised by the number of hits when I Googled Vijay Auto. Obviously a lot of people are providing feedback here. Vijay Auto need to periodically monitor this space.
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