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Aruba, June 25, 2012 - Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch was famous for asking, “How am I doing?” Now it seems every company in America is asking the same thing. As social media site proliferate, we’re being flooded with requests to take customer satisfaction surveys.
Get an oil change and you’ll be asked to take a survey. Go the theater? Make sure to rate your experience. After a recent trip to Philadelphia, the hotel, airline and rental car company each emailed me a survey request. A good friend recently received a survey form in the mail from the funeral home that handled his mother’s burial just two months ago. They wanted him to rate his experience. Ugh. What’s going on here?

“You’re getting so many survey requests because companies understand how important the customer experience is in today’s ultra-competitive world where consumers have lots of choices,” said Larry Freed, president of ForSee, a company that collects about 1.5 million surveys a month for companies across the country. “They’ve got to work really hard to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.”

While many companies truly want your opinion to provide better products and services, some also use surveys to gather personal information in order to improve their marketing. How can you tell the difference? It’s often impossible to tell. A good survey should be about the customer experience and not about marketing, Freed says. “We want it to be real. We want to be honest about what we’re trying to learn from you and why,” he says.
A good survey is respectful of your time. ForeSee surveys are designed to take between 2.5 and 3.5 minutes to be completed on the web and just 60 to 90 seconds on a mobile device.

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