Are you sure you want to provide negative feedback?

Apparently, I’m rude. I’m inconsiderate, thoughtless, and downright offensive. I have no regard for the feelings of others and might even go out of my way to make people feel bad. At least, that’s the way GoDaddy made me feel when I filled out a survey they sent me today.

A confirmation box that popped up when I filled out a GoDaddy post-call survey.

Putting the melodrama aside, I was actually quite surprised when GoDaddy asked me if I was sure I wanted to submit negative feedback. Their exact words were: “You are about to submit negative feedback for this survey. Do you wish to continue?” At first, I didn’t believe it. I had to read it again. I had never seen that before. Sure enough, a company was actually asking me to think twice my choice to provide negative feedback.

I’m not if GoDaddy realizes the point of surveying their customers. The point is not to get the best numbers. Instead, the point is (or rather, should be) to get the most honest answers and feedback about their customer service. The best way to avoid getting negative ratings is to provide better service. GoDaddy actively discouraging their customers from rating the company negatively during a survey is counter-productive. GoDaddy is manipulating their own results, which as far as I’m aware, are only used internally. They’re only fooling themselves. This isn’t the right way to conduct or look at surveys.

If a customer has a less than phenomenal customer service experience and rates the experience accordingly in a survey, you should let him or her provide that feedback. In fact, you should value that type of feedback (see this post about keeping your enemies closer); as a customer-centric organization, it is your responsibility to thank the customer for their feedback and see what you can do to make the experience better. You may choose to take it a step further and follow up with the particular customer personally or you can choose to simply consider collective and individual customer feedback when making changes. That’s how surveying works and what it’s designed to do.

Surveying is not a game of company versus customer. If customers are providing positive feedback, it’s probably for a reason. Similarly, if they’re providing negative feedback, it’s for a reason. Surveys are a way of gathering customer feedback and opinions. Doing anything to try and skew those honest opinions (like double checking with customers before accepting negative feedback) is just making it harder to collect that honest feedback and in the long run, harder to provide service that is truly exceptional.

4 Responses to “Are you sure you want to provide negative feedback?”

  1. Major Hayden said:

    Jun 13, 08 at 8:47 am

    That completely blows me away. I would think that they would want the most honest and accurate feedback possible so they could make improvements where they are needed.

  2. Go Daddy [reposted from email] said:

    Jun 13, 08 at 3:55 pm

    [Note: This message was emailed to Service Untitled. I am posting it below to give Go Daddy’s perspective.]

    Dear Service Untitled,

    Our office was recently made aware of your article about Go Daddy’s
    customer service survey warning:

    We appreciate that you’ve taken the time to voice your concerns about
    the recent change made to our survey procedure. The reason we’re writing
    to you is because we wanted to point out why the warning you referenced
    was put in place.

    In the past, some surveys have been received with decidedly positive
    feedback comments but numerically negative feedback. This may be due to
    a misunderstanding of the numeric weighting applied in the survey, so we
    wanted to make sure people realized what they were submitting prior to

    As you pointed out in your article, the goal of a customer service
    survey is to obtain honest feedback in an ongoing effort to improve
    service. Please know that the potential reaction you have sited in your
    article (NOT providing intentionally negative feedback due to the
    warning) is completely unintended, and as a result of the concerns
    you’ve raised, we are actively considering a change to the wording used
    in the warning. To be clear, the last thing we want to do is discourage
    feedback regardless of its content.

    Also, we wanted you to know that if you have any concerns about Go Daddy service that you would like to discuss with us directly, we would be
    more than happy to speak with you by phone. Clearly, you had some
    negative feedback to report, and if you feel anything you encountered
    during your customer service experience would warrant our attention,
    please let us know. Of course, if you have any other questions or
    concerns, we would also welcome those.


    Alon W.
    Office of the President

  3. Service Untitled » A Million Spam Comments and a Response from GoDaddy - customer service and customer service experience blog said:

    Jun 13, 08 at 4:01 pm

    […] I was saying, and spent time writing a response. I posted their response as a comment to the post here and encourage you to read it. They even said they’re considering changes. I’m going to […]

  4. Jacob LaCivita said:

    Jun 15, 08 at 7:51 pm

    You’d think that the opposite tactic would be more helpful when administering online surveys. If someone gives a perfect score, pop up a warning that says “You are about to give us the highest marks possible. We’re flattered and appreciative, but are you sure we couldn’t be doing anything better?”