Monday, April 19, 2021

4718 So Many Surveys, So Little Time


 We are inundated with surveys online and on the phone. Sometimes door to door. If placed in a line, the pile of collected data will soon reach Pluto.  Or at least it will give space aliens an easy-to-read pathway for their flying saucers to Area 51.


Here’s a one-sentence Wessays survey: “Do you think anyone reads the data and if they do will do anything with it?”


Answer if you like.  But here’s a promise: I won’t read your answer, just put it on the path for saucer navigators.


Who wants to know whether you’d recommend Sonic or Dairy Queen as a venue for your next divorce celebration?  Or if you enjoyed your latest experience with Walnut Springs National Bank where you went to plead for more time to pay this month’s mortgage, along with last months and the months before?


What will happen to Suzie Bell or Billyjo, your friendly virtual assistants from Bloatware Customer Service?  If Suzie or Billyjo did a good job, will they be taken off probation for their usual automated nonsense to your questions?  Yes, robots and software can be put on probation just like real boys and girls.


“Limiting your response to your recent call to Customer Service Agent Henry in San Jose (who really isn’t Henry and really is in Bhopal), how satisfied were you with …” this is followed by several rows of areas in which “Henry” was asked to solve a problem with your new Bloatware Package of Important Programs. Check the appropriate boxes.


The question they never ask whether you waited for an hour before you got a live body?


Another question they never ask: On a scale of minus five to plus ten, how did you like our music on hold?  There never is a box you can check that says you aren’t a fan of the instrumental cover of the medley of Meatloaf’s Greatest Hit.


Maybe this is all wrong.  Maybe people really DO read these things and act on them. Here’s an example.


Scene: The Boardroom at Bloatware LLC. 



--Chairman and CEO Octavius Bloat and Director of Surveys 

--Automata Bloat-Wingtip, his adult daughter.


ABW: Dad, this fellow Henry in San Jose is getting a lot of positive feedback.


OB: Fire his ass before he asks for a raise. And make sure you do it before the end of the quarter.


ABW: Ok.  Do you have his address in Bhopal?


OB: I thought he was in San Jose.


ABW: You ordered me to close the San Jose office two months ago.  Everyone in customer service is in either Bhopal or Manila now.


OB: No, I don’t have his email. Check with Human Resources. Now, what about the reaction to our music on hold?


ABW: Everyone hates it.


OB: Good. The more hangups in disgust the fewer customers we have to deal with.


ABW: They hate the waiting time, too.


OB: Same answer as before.  Wanna grab some lunch? I hear Sonic has a new kind of bacon cheeseburger.


ABW: I wonder if they have Meatloaf.


Keep filling out those surveys.  Octavius and Automata really listen.  And they act.


I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®

Any Questions?

© WR 2021


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