In the August 6 post, I introduced the idea of customer service manipulation. If you haven’t read that post, you can read it (below) to gain context for the one.

Shortcuts are a wonderful invention when you need to get to the store in a hurry, save time while word processing, or work certain math problems. But, when it comes to finding out what your customers thought of your service, it can send a very unfortunate message.

In order to keep manipulation out of customer feedback, companies need a process that enables a customer to reflect on her experience without pressure to satisfy the wishes of the company. When you try and shortcut that process by telling a customer you “need all 10’s,” it taints the customer’s perspective on many levels.

The organizational leader who emailed my wife, also made the ultimate shortcut statement.

If you didn’t receive (as in past tense) the kind of service that would allow you to give me all 10’s, let me know what I can do to change that so that you can give me all 10’s. 

Not only is this a ridiculous statement–as if there is a rewind button or time machine on a past experience, but it’s insulting to the customer. Why in the world should the customer give a company a 10 for services rendered that were not a 10? And, why in the world would an organizational leader want to put pressure on the customer to come up with such a “fix.” It’s not the customer’s job to correct poor service. It’s their job to give feedback. It’s the company’s job to fix what’s broken. Now, if your company has a process of involving the customer in improvement initiatives, then those initiatives should not be tied to feedback on services rendered. Keep it separate.

This leads to the next dangerous shortcut that this “fix it so I can get a 10” approach causes. It shortcuts continuous improvement. More on that in a future post.