Monday, May 25, 2015

Post purchase surveys are badly flawed

Every time one buys something expensive like a car or a house, one is usually told by the salesperson that they will be receiving a post purchase survey and that anything below the perfect score is a failure for them.  They usually convey this thought at the very end of the transaction and tell you "do let us know if there is anything I can do for you."  This after treating you with distrust and playing with your mind all through the process.  And this is the same no matter where you's just an ugly part of the sales cycle for big ticket items.  They play with your feelings of guilt -- "I'm just the little guy, please don't do anything to hurt my job" -- yet at the same time, all through the process, the only feeling that I get is that they are out to get your money.  They are full of distrust and fear that the deal will fall through.  Once it is done, other than the courtesy call which is again something that is asked about on the survey, you will never hear from the salesperson.

Basically, you have a robot salesperson that tries to do everything they can to make sure the survey questions are all covered without actually caring about the buyer.  In other words, they will say all the right things to make you feel they care about you, but they really don't.  All they care about it making the transaction go through successfully.  The flip side is that customers often have to create dramatic lies in order to back out of a deal (health crisis, moving job, etc.).

Now giving a perfect score on the survey for what was clearly service that could be improved on would be lie (at least for me).  So there are two options--don't respond to the survey at all, or fill out the survey in a genuine fashion and risk seeing an unhappy salesperson should you ever run into them again.  I'm not sure which option is better.

The whole experience is reminiscent of growing up in a dysfunctional family, where you're told about how everyone loves you, but you feel none of it, rather feeling oppression and abuse, because the actions don't match the words.

There was a time when sales people stayed at a job a long enough time and creating trusted, working relationships mattered.  Those days are gone.  The credit score determines whether or not one can be trusted for a loan.  Other than that, it's pretty much pleasantries and bonds (sign copious amounts of paper work to keep you from backing out of the deal).

There was a time in my life when I cared more about other people's feelings than I did about my own.   At such times, I would have filled out such a survey offering a perfect score to the salesperson.  But I'm slowly changing that and realizing that I too am a person and that I too deserve to be treated right.  And that it's important to point out any shortcomings or they will never be addressed.