Customer service

Why customer-surveys don’t work

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Jonar Nader says that any executive who has to rely on customer surveys, does not know what is going on. Jonar says that only those who understand their customers, intimately, can have any hope of delivering a better service. Further below is a transcript of the video.

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Here is the transcript:

Jonar Nader: You can see on the other bedside table bedroom hotel that you stayed in, every hotel in the world that’s a four or five star has this. What’s it called? Customer survey form. Have you ever – isn’t that amazing? Why are they asking me to tell them if the shower works and the TV works? Why are they asking me? Why don’t they check the room before I get in and they fill in the form and they say to me, ‘Mr. Nader, we checked everything and it works and here’s your survey form.’

They want me to be their engineer upon check out. And I suggest to you that if you don’t understand your market, your customers sufficiently that you have to survey them to even know what they’re talking about, you cannot succeed. You have to know intimately. I heard the here, here. You’re right. I used to work in these corporations and I say to them, our computers are white back then. Everything was white. And I said to them, ‘They get grabby and they get dirty and can we have some colors and whatever?’ Oh no. Customers. I said, ‘What do you mean customers? Name free. You’ve never met a customer in your life. You’re sitting here.’ Customers don’t want black computers. Black is a negative color. You know what now? I’ve been fighting for this for years. I’ve been in the IT industry over 20 years. I’ve been fighting for this for years. This here, a machine is the best most advanced most everything. You could buy a house for the price of this. It doesn’t have a handle. And I am always dreading dropping it somehow. How much is a handle?

Shirts. I don’t know. You think this is prop that I put there on purpose but I actually have a sticker here on my label and you know what this sticker is? It’s actually for my Qantas bag ID number because my label itches. We can get a man to the moon and I have to stick this over the label because it itches.

Who’s joking? Customer survey form. I’m sorry. If you don’t know what’s going on in your hotel, in your organization, in your firms, but the trouble is you don’t call yourself, you see. You never actually call your own number. You never park where the customer has to park. You never see the fax at the other end. We send a perfectly good fax but our fax machine is dirty. We don’t know that it gets to the other end, you can’t read it. We never actually con – consumed.

This is my favorite survey story. These two hotels are actually real five-star hotels. And they are within – if you had a tennis ball at one, you can actually, from the foyer throw it across the road to the other. They’re the same brand. And they are fantastic five-star hotels but after September 11, one of them implemented a full security system where you can’t go to any level without a swipe card, which we see now a lot. And one of them started doing fantastic service, as in business. Revenue went up. Which hotel started to get the revenue up? The one that did not have the swipe card service. And everyone thought everyone wanted security. But they didn’t understand their market and no survey form would tell them, ‘Dear Sir, please allow Madam Fifi’s massage parlor to come to level 36.’ Because these executives did not want their lips to be disabled because Madam Fifi needed to visit them.

And they didn’t want her downstairs loitering.

Now truly, I found this up by putting a camera in the foyer because they said to me, they said, ‘We can’t understand why people are …’ And no one would tell you which survey form can admit to that?

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