Tag Archives: survey

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Customer Service Shortcuts

Customer Service Shortcuts and Culture

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It is easy to disregard customer service. Perhaps in many organizations it is quickly brushed over because there is no rocket science and, after all, it takes a lot of energy to do it right. Do you have a culture of customer service shortcuts?

How do you know you have good customer service? How are you measuring the success of your customer service culture?

Said or Done?

Many organizational leaders tell me that they survey their customers. Some suggest that management is carefully watching and monitoring both processes and outcomes. Others claim to be doing it digitally. They monitor social media, review sales data, and analyze lifetime value.

In many ways, all of those produce some form of evidence. Evidence is valuable and meaningful, but it may not be the entire story. Things are likely missing, valuable things that are overlooked, underestimated, or disregarded.

What is the culture of the organization? What are the habits, the traditions, and the values? I’m not just talking about what is said in the boardroom, at the quarterly meeting, or on a digital document otherwise known as the employee handbook.

What is the execution or organizational habits? What are the customer service shortcuts? None of it may be rocket science.

Shortcut Investment or Divestment

Many businesses invest in shortcuts. It is the auto-attendant telephone system, the ring the buzzer for help, or the website contact page. They invest in touch point reduction. It is the listen carefully because our menu options have changed, or it must have went into my spam folder.

Customers don’t hear reasons, they hear excuses. What they feel, is a lack of caring. What your execution is demonstrating, is a shortcut. Every action, or a lack of, has a cost. What can your organization afford?

Customer Service Shortcuts

It isn’t about well-crafted words on a document, it isn’t the glamorous pitch from the C Suite, or it is not necessarily about what is contained in the managers’ report.

It might be a part of all of those, but the biggest part of your culture is execution, the things that become values, traditions, and the brand.

There is value to what you say, but what will be remembered the most is what you do and how your customers feel.

Is it time to consider how you’re coming up short?


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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Should Your Employee Satisfaction Survey Be Anonymous?

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The question to survey employees anonymously or with identifiers is an interesting one. Like many things in life there are probably some pros and cons, but an employee satisfaction survey should be focused on collecting data that will help improve satisfaction, but will it?

employee satisfaction survey

Some quick internet research shows some mixed points of view on this subject and so I would like to suggest you pause and ask yourself a few questions. Questions such as, what do you intend to do with the data? What are you striving for? What are the desired outcomes?

Why Satisfaction Survey

We have customer satisfaction surveys, employee satisfaction surveys, and many other forms of evaluations and surveys. Are evaluations and surveys the same thing?

Technically no, the term evaluation and survey are often used within our language interchangeably, but there are some differences. You might evaluate employee performance, a training program, or the success of a project, but surveys are typically used for data collection or to gather more information about a subject or topic.

So are you interested to know if your employees are satisfied or to know if their boss is doing a good job as a manager? There is a difference.

When we consider the concept behind an employee satisfaction survey we should be looking for data or input on what keeps employees energized, engaged, and bragging about the place where they work.

Yes, we may also have some interest in knowing more about what isn’t working and trouble spots, but if that is your primary interest you should stop reading this and look up something about employee dissatisfaction surveys.

Identifiers or Anonymous

Supporters of identifiers will argue that they can’t address or fix problems if they don’t know who said what, they won’t be able to understand the context of responses and best of all (sarcasm), they won’t know who to hold accountable.

Those who support the concept of anonymity will likely argue that people won’t be honest if they are required to identify themselves, that there will be harsh or negative repercussions for responses that aren’t favorable, and that the data will not be as valid and reliable if identifiers are required.

Perhaps in either case there are some assumptions being made, but most of the challenge arises from fear.

Common management or leadership fears:

  • Someone will point out my weaknesses
  • I don’t like being criticized
  • I’ll be “voted” out of my job
  • We’ll lose control

Common fears of respondents:

  • There will be repercussions if my responses aren’t favorable
  • It will ruin my relationship with my boss
  • What if my responses are very different from others
  • How will this come back to haunt me

There is not much room for doubt when you consider that fear is an obstacle with data collection on an employee satisfaction survey. Chances are great that the majority of respondents don’t want identifiers and in contrast chances are also great that some of the management or leadership team will strongly favor requiring personal identifiers.

Bottom Line

Let’s circle back to the idea of why you are doing this. You want the data, right? Your reason should be focused on improving employee satisfaction so you want to know more about what keeps employees satisfied. Your survey needs to be designed to focus on satisfaction characteristics and not on those that drive dissatisfaction.

You’ll want to know from employees:

  • What keeps you coming back day after day?
  • What do you like most about our culture?
  • What’s working and what should we do more of?

What you shouldn’t be focused on:

  • What are your biggest problems with working here?
  • What makes people feel unhappy?
  • What makes you feel like quitting?

Can you see the difference? You could probably argue that with a proper focus and a well-constructed survey instrument that it wouldn’t matter that much about identifiers or anonymity.

Certainly the data validity and reliability argument can go either way, but if you want your team to feel that their input is valued, respected, and trusted, you should probably make it anonymous.

How you follow up and what you do after the survey is also important, but I see no justification for requiring personal identifiers when you’re trying to improve the culture of your workplace.

Collect your data, learn to do more of what keeps people motivated and engaged, after all, it seems to me that your desired outcome is to improve satisfaction not create turmoil.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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