The problem with customer satisfaction metrics

We are currently staying at Deerhurst, which is a beautiful resort in Muskoka, about two hours north of Toronto.

There is an activity desk here where you can book different activities around the resort – rock climbing, a petting zoo, hummer tours, etc. The activity desk is staffed by very friendly young women who are always smiling and at least appear to like their jobs. When we arrived yesterday, I went to the activity desk to find out what was going on for the next few days. I was very politely told that there was a brochure that I could take and decide what I wanted to do. The young woman was very friendly and helpful.

But here’s my issue…she had a great opportunity to create additional revenue for the resort without being pushy or obnoxious. She merely had to highlight some of the key activities. She could have noticed that I was with my five-year old daughter and mentioned she might like the pony rides, or that many families who stay at the hotel have really enjoyed some other activity. It’s not her fault, she did her job as she was instructed to do. That’s the limitation of customer satisfaction metrics. She could have engaged me in a conversation and asked what my family likes to do, or even better, engaged my daughter in a conversation about what she likes to do. Then highlighted some options for us.

If someone were to have handed me a customer service survey on the spot, I would have given her high marks. She was friendly, smiling, polite, knowledgeable and helpful. But from the resort’s perspective (and my perspective as a business consultant), there was a lost revenue opportunity. You need to consider what you are measuring when it comes to those who have direct interaction with your customers and figure out new and creative ways to generate new revenue opportunities.