Oscar Wilde famously defined a cynic as a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. I was reminded of this at a bank this morning when I went to the counter to make a transaction. The cashier struggled to get the IT system working but eventually got the job done.
Then she said I might be telephoned later and asked to rate her service… and would I be able to give her a 7? (I overheard another customer being asked the same question; she kindly offered to score a 9 or 10… but apparently 7 was the maximum. Not Spinal Tap then.)
This is the first time I’ve run into this in a live setting but it happens quite a bit with call centres.
I really dislike it. I feel instantly sorry for the staff who I imagine find this a bit demeaning and I know I feel a bit demeaned by it too. It’s as if anonymous management don’t trust either of us to manage a simple human relationship.
If I participate, my answer will almost certainly be a top score as I fear there will be direct repurcussions for the staff otherwise.
The whole thing feels creepy to me. Of course it gives the managerialists yet more numbers over which to pretend influence, but I think their value will be at best much less precise than managers would think. And, as is so often the case with these systems, there is no measure of the downsides that can’t be measured but are real – for staff and customer morale.
I don’t much like being lured into this kind of game and I realise I’m not going to play next time.
I am not a number, and neither are the people behind the counter.