No complaints by design, the ultimate customer survey!

Our local train station has recently undergone a refurbishment and in order to solicit the public’s opinion about the new changes the train company, SNCF, has installed an automated customer service machine.

SNCF Automated Customer Survey Machine
SNCF Automated Customer Survey Machine

Sounds like a good idea in principle, a computerised system, if designed correctly, should make data collection and its processing on the whole much easier.

SNCF’s survey machine certainly seem’s to be streamlined for this: the physical hardware is pleasant to the eye, the text is easy to read and their is only one button to press. Wait, a button I hear you say? And where is the screen to display questions to the user? How are they going to use a button to select answers on your traditional Likert scale? Won’t it be difficult to see the questions on that tiny screen (its only one character high)?
Well fear not, because SNCF took this all into consideration when designing their survey. The system asks only one question and only one question! Do you like the new building?
If yes,

  • Click the button.

If no,

  • Get out your phone.
  • Load your QR app.
    • If no QR app, download a QR app.
  • Point your camera at the QR code.
  • Get the URL address of our website.
  • Go to our website and tell us why you don’t like the new building.

And that’s how one designs a customer survey so the only feedback you get is positive. Seriously who thought this was a good idea? There is just so much work involved in registering negative comments that a customer would have to be really determined to go through this process. I imagine, serious complaints would be registered through the usual means (e.g. the station front desk or SNCF’s contact-us page) but not through this system, it requires too much effort.
An English translation of the survey text is as follows: –

French: CE bâtiment, tout beau tout neuf, vous l’aimez?
English: This building, all beautiful all new station, you like?
French: Si Oui, Dites-les nous
English: If yes, tell us that.
Sinon, aidez-nous, a amelliorer ce service
English: If not, help us to improve this service.

I opened up the website the QR code was pointing to and adding insult to injury this is what you see: –

SNCF complaint webpage

The webpage first tells you how many people who are in disagreement with you and secondly asks you if your sure you don’t love it? I’ve seen some bias survey’s in my time but I think this one takes the cake.

1 thought on “No complaints by design, the ultimate customer survey!”

  1. I saw one recently in Antibes on the French Rivieria where we had to change trains for St.Raphaël. I couldn’t read French but I punched the like button a few times. I thought it was some sort of survey device. Thanks for the info.

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