Friday, January 28, 2011

Who Reads the Surveys?

Have you ever taken your car into the dealership for service and then several weeks later received a satisfaction survey? What about when you eat a a restaurant and there's that little paper survey you can fill out rating your server and overall dining experience?  It seems like anymore there's a survey for everything, and I suspect this is a useful tool in measuring the quality of customer service.  It might even be resourceful in actually improving the quality of customer care.  However, I have to say that in the past, and more often than not, I found them tedious and annoying.  Wait - unless customer service was real shabby and then I went hunting like a rabid dog for anything remotely close to a piece of paper with numbered questions and boxes.  "Where's that survey they always hand out?  I need to leave feedback about how terrible this guy's service was," might have bellowed from my mouth a time or two in the past.  Never wanting to take the time to fill them out when service is good, but scrmabling to find one when service is poor - sound like anyone you know?  Oh, and by the way -who reads those surveys anyways?
Well, a few weeks before Christmas I had to take my trusty Saturn in for repairs.  The gentleman who assisted me was extremely helpful and very friendly. As he helped me through settling in to a rental car and preparing to do without my own for a short period of time, I remembered thinking how nice it would be to have a customer service survey for him. "Oh well," I sighed, and I left the thought behind to prepare for Christmas.  Today, I got an email with a survey asking me to rate my overall experience with the dealership and one on one service. Immediately, I considered sending the email to my trash bin but within seconds I remembered "the guy."  For the life of me I can't remember his name, so we'll call him "Reuban" for now.  (That may actually be his name, but I'm not sure).  Well, I decided to go ahead and open the email, fill out the survey, and spend the next five to ten minutes of my life doing something good with my time. 

At the end of the survey there was a box with an option to leave additional remarks.  I tried so hard to think of Reuban's name, but never could.  "Well, they should be able to match my name and car to the employee who assisted me," I decided, so I left it at that.  I started to type a heartfelt and genuine thanks for all the dealership employees had done when it hit me - who reads these surveys?  I mean, someone out there is sitting and reading through tons of surveys for a good portion of their morning or afternoon, so I started wondering what their day was like.  I wonder if the person who is about to read this survey once I hit "submit" is having a good day.  What if they're not?  So, at God's prompting I added on to what I had already written, but directed it to the survey reader -"I just want whoever is reading this to know that God loves you and your work is appreciated," is what I typed. 

Can you imagine what your reaction would be if you got a message like that?  What if it was at a critical time in your life and you were on the verge of making a life changing decision, when suddenly amidst your normal, mundane routine you see that someone has written those words to you.  I think I would maybe be a little freaked out if I didn't know God, but the point is - someone, somewhere just received a personalized message from God. Think about it - who does read those surveys? Where are they?   When we think of filling them out, we think only in terms of who we dealt with directly.  Who actually reads each survey doesn't usually cross our minds.  I know it never has mine until today.  I asked God this morning to use me in whatever way He needed and to lead me to be a blessing to someone else.  It's something I usually always try to remember to ask of Him, but I don't always.  I'm also not taking credit for doing something nice, because I assure you - it wasnt my idea to do that.  I asked God to use me and He put the idea in my head.  He gets the credit for blessing whatever stranger gets that message.  It was His message to give, and I was just available as His vessel.  Also, why didn't I just leave it at "God loves you." Why on earth did I add "and your work is appreciated"? That wasn't me!  I would never in a million years think to do something like that or say something like that in this particular way! I imagine that the person who winds up receiving that message is one who hasn't been feeling appreciated, but that's just me guessing based on what God prompted me to write. 

The point isn't just about filling out surveys and thinking about the person who is behind the scenes reading them.  The point is also about letting your walk and life with God be fun.  It is exciting if you let it be exciting! If you ask God to use you and lead you, it is so awesome to see Him at work through people.  So, let your walk with God get fun, and while you're doing it - take time to fill out the surveys even when you don't feel like doing it; and maybe sometime if you're led to - leave a little message for the survey reader himself :-)  Have a great day everyone!

Photo taken from


  1. Who reads these comments, anyway? Well, whoever is reading this one, please know that God loves you and has something to say to you. He also knows the plans he has for you...plans for goodness, not of evil...plans of hope and a future. Understand that His grace is always there for you.

  2. I know who you are :-) I'm absolutely honored that you've graced my new blog with your eyes! Don't even get me started on how excited I was to see a new comment! Love you, Tom :)