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Woman on computer completing an after-purchase survey

Is it worth completing those after-purchase surveys?

Do you have survey fatigue? You know what I mean—you make a large purchase (a car), buy something online (clothing) or call an airline or credit card company to dispute a charge, and within minutes you receive a survey via email. A few years ago those surveys were few and far between, they now seem to fill up our email in-boxes.

Many of my friends and family members tell me they don’t waste their time completing the surveys—partially because it takes time, and partially because they don’t think it makes a difference.

I’ve always been a firm believer that there is a human at the end of a survey and that if I have important or meaningful feedback to share, then I make the time to respond.

So that’s what happened to me a couple of weeks ago, after I attended a golf club fitting hosted by TaylorMade Golf at my local golf course. The club sent out the announcement, and I reserved the 30-minute time slot online. The timing was perfect for me, as there are two specific clubs that I was looking to purchase.

When I arrived at the golf club and walked up to the pop-up tent to test the clubs, I was greeted by two twentysomethings: a man and a woman. The woman was fairly personable, but all the guy did was look at his electronic tablet when I walked up and the first thing out of his mouth was, “I have another appointment at 11:00 a.m., so we need to hurry up.”

I looked at my watch and said, “Well, that means I still have 11 minutes to try out the clubs and make my choice!” The guy was annoyed (full disclosure—my partner Jack was there at 10:30 a.m. for his fitting and we shared the time slot, so I was within the time slot).

I tested a couple of styles of clubs, but obviously felt quite rushed and hastily made my decision to purchase. Afterward, I kept thinking that next time I would rather go to a golf store where I would not be so rushed, versus the convenience of a fitting at the golf course where I play.

Then came an email survey the next day. I was ready for it! I immediately completed it, explaining how it was not a great experience for me. What happened next was a huge surprise.

Within a few days, I received a personal email from another local TaylorMade representative who acknowledged my fitting experience and “wanted to make sure every fitting feels personal and you leave with a sense of satisfaction in your experience.” He offered to do a refitting at another local course.

Wow—I was impressed! I let him know that unfortunately my schedule would not allow me the time to have another fitting, but thanked him for reaching out. And then, the real kicker.

I received another email from him this morning. “Hey Karen—I am more than happy to drop off some golf balls and hats for the inconvenience. Please send me your address so I can deliver the swag. I also looked over your order, and it looks like the wedges you ordered are fairly backordered. I can switch them out for you for a similar shaft, and they will ship in September. Let me know if you would like me to make the change.”

Double wow! This customer experiential expert turned my awful incident and complaint into an experience that made me feel special and happy again! How did that happen so quickly?

First, he acknowledged my feedback in a timely fashion. He then let me know my personal satisfaction was important to him and the company and suggested some options to me.

He didn’t take “no” for an answer (as I really did give him a brush off with my first response). He gently responded with another option or two with kindness and authenticity and was not defensive, plus the offer of swag.

So, next time you have feedback to give, remember that there may be a human at the other end of the survey.

Or, if you are the company representative where a customer has had a less-than-stellar experience, responding quickly and authentically and offering some kind of replacement may make a difference. It’s important NOT to make excuses or defend your organization. Acknowledge the error flat out. That authentic humility goes a long way in this day and age.

So now, when you get a survey via email, perhaps you will take the time to give your feedback.

And of course, I cannot wait to get my new golf clubs. Crossing my fingers that I will be 100% satisfied. Or else, I’ll be contacting my new best friend Mike at TaylorMade.


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