Ross: Rating how useful feedback surveys are anyway

Dec 19, 2022, 7:15 AM | Updated: Dec 21, 2022, 2:21 pm
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I recently spent about 45 minutes on a simple transaction – with an employee of a major corporation. It was one of those transactions where the computer wasn’t cooperating, and the sales rep and I both spent way too long sitting there waiting for something to happen.

Anyway, finally, it was done, I said thank you, and he said thank you for being patient, and by the way, you’ll probably be asked to rate my performance.

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And then he added, just to let you know – the scale is one to ten, but it’s actually a pass-fail system. Nines and tens count as passing, but anything below nine is considered failing. Have a nice rest of your day.

And I looked at him, and I said “that’s ruthless.” And he agreed yes it was.

And I thought to myself – why do corporations do this to people?

I got the feeling that he’s been through this before – he’s dealing with a frozen computer, the customer takes the survey, “rate your experience 1-10”, and the customer likes the guy, but because of the delay, he gives him an eight, thinking that’s not too bad, when in fact he just flunked him for something out of his control.

It’s like blaming the pilot for being last in the de-icing line.

Now I suppose it’s possible this is not really how the system works, that it is not pass-fail, and the employee just told me that to boost his score – but then that also would reveal the problem with systems like this – they can be gamed.

And it’s everywhere! I’ve had these surveys pop up after getting a latte, going to the dentist, and of course, flying to New York – “Tell us about your experience.” “Well, I wish New York was about three hours closer, and that ice didn’t exist, so I give you an eight!”

Anyway – I want to know if this actually works. So if you have a job where you get evaluated this way – at your convenience go to the inbox at MyNorthwest.com, and tell us if these ratings are helping your performance, or just making you paranoid.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
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Ross: Rating how useful feedback surveys are anyway