To the Editor:
I have read with amusement the recent articles and letters regarding the "survey rigging" brouhaha.
All surveys do is give everyone a false sense of accomplishment.
It's human nature, when presented with a survey that lists "satisfied" and "extremely satisfied," to mark "satisfied." When, in today's hectic world, are we ever extremely satisfied with anything?
Another unintended consequence is the power the surveys give our "loyal" customers.
As a former longtime Mercedes-Benz dealer, I know that it is standard operating procedure when a survey has even a hint of coaching that if the factory finds out, the survey is marked with a big, fat zero.
Well, customers hold us hostage over the survey. A client comes to mind who, after purchasing an E320 station wagon, came into the dealership, survey in hand, and indicated that if we wished a 100 percent score, we needed to give her a cargo carrier, rear netting and floor covering for free.
I politely declined and offered her the items at wholesale as a reasonable compromise. Well, you guessed it: zero on the survey.
I approached our market manager with the request that we be given an automatic 100 on the survey. My reasoning: If we bribe the client, we get zero; if the client bribes us, we should get 100. He said he would kick it upstairs. Of course, that survey stood.
It is unfair to base thousands of dollars of employees' pay solely on the whims of our customers. Let's find a better way.