#55 – Facebook, recommending where you live, vodka, cognitive bias


Facebook employee and customer satisfaction continue to be opposites. Recommending the place where you live? All vodkas are identical! More. Welcome to the 55th edition of my customer strategy newsletter. The five topics this week are:

  1. Facebook employee and customer satisfaction continue to be opposites
  2. Recommending the place where you live?
  3. Latest blog posts
  4. Notable items from other sites – All vodkas are identical, Cognitive Bias
  5. Looking forward
Facebook employee and customer satisfaction continue to be opposites

Those who read my recent articles about the (almost non-existent) relationship between employee and customer satisfaction in large American companies will remember Facebook. They made the list of companies in the top 10% for employee satisfaction, while remaining in the bottom 10% for customer satisfaction. So… how has the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal changed things?

So far… not at all. Now I don’t have any new customer satisfaction data, but I do have some new employee satisfaction data. They are now #1 on Glassdoor’s ‘Best Places to Work’ list for 2018, based on employee feedback. Here are some quotes from this month:

“Unbelievable company I’m proud to work for.”

“A place like no other.” (With a five star rating, out of five)

“Dream company!”

“Amazing place to work.”

These are representative comments. I could find nothing negative at all. I could go on, but the message should be clear. All the negative feedback from customers has no effect whatsoever on employees. They love Facebook, while American consumers continue to hate it.

Go figure.

How likely are you to recommend your town as a place to live?

Imagine receiving a survey from your local authorities. “Dear Mr. FitzGerald, we want to improve Smallville and hope you can help us. We just have three questions for you today. We promise to let you know what we learn from this research, and what we plan to improve.”

I listened to a Net Promoter System podcast about improving customer experience in a ski resort a couple of years ago. It made me think about starting a business whose purpose would be to help Swiss villages, towns and cities to improve the perceptions of their citizens. (In Switzerland, taxes are raised at federal, cantonal (= state) and local levels, so local authorities are able to make local spending decisions.) I did not start that business, but thought quite deeply about what I wanted my own village to improve.

At that time, I noted issues to do with the local garbage dump, where we sort and dispose of things that are not picked up by the regional domestic garbage collection service. I also thought they should find ways of cutting down the road noise level for people living along the main streets that have thousands of passing cars each day. That work has just started, with all the main road surfaces being replaced by low-noise tarmac. Mind you, they didn’t really have a choice, as this type of noise reduction was the subject of a federal mandate 20 years ago, and 2018 is the last year allowed for compliance.

Anyway, I still think implementing three-question NPS-style surveys for towns would be a great business. I think citizens would react well. I have not heard of anyone doing this so far. What do you think?


Our latest blog posts

Here are the latest posts. Older posts are still available on the blog page.

image How do you know whether your latest relationship survey score is better than your last one?

This is not a stupid question! Last week I had the pleasure of speaking to an LA-based reader and head of customer experience for a very large company. He wanted to understand how to tell whether the organization was improving or not. Here are the main points we discussed.

image Useful if you have no NPS® benchmarks for your company – Please help me to improve this ACSI to NPS converter

As many of you know, public competitive NPS benchmarks are exceedingly rare. This article proposes an approximate solution for translating American Customer Satisfaction Index data into NPS numbers.

image Yet more reflections on why corporate cost benchmarking is often evil and destructive

Regular readers will know that I am not a fan of cost benchmarking. The reason is simple. I think it is almost always misused, sometimes producing disastrous results. The primary reason is that the cost cutting takes place in the absence of clear statements and actions to spend more on the areas where companies want to invest and grow.


Notable customer experience items from other sites

NPR Planet Money podcast: The Vodka Proof [All vodkas are identical]

Regular readers of our books and blogs will know we are fans of behavioral economics and cognitive psychology. People (including us) are far less rational than we like to believe. I listen to every episode of the National Public Radio Planet Money podcast. The topics are always interesting and sometimes surprising. A recent episode was one of the surprising ones. They start out by explaining that almost all vodkas are identical, no matter what they cost. Indeed, the ones most likely to taste a tiny bit different just happen to include low-quality distillation residue. The identical nature of all vodkas is driven by US legislation about how it must be distilled.

As you might expect, almost nobody believes this. They pick the entertaining story of Grey Goose vodka as an example. Grey Goose is pure marketing. They do not even distill their own product. And wait until you hear the blind taste test, done live during the podcast. This all changed the way I think about vodka, especially expensive brands. If you are a major fan of premium vodka, you will hate this show. Listen to it here.

Raconteur.net: Cognitive Bias Infographic

When we listen to others expressing their opinions, and I suppose when we listen to ourselves too, we need to be aware of cognitive bias. My brother sent me an outstanding infographic on the subject. It includes simple examples of each of the common sources of bias. You can find it here. I hope it will be useful.


Looking forward

April looks like being our fourth record sales month in a row. Thank you! If you would like to help us, the best way is to post a book review on Amazon.

Here are links to all of our books on Amazon.com. Kindle versions are available in all stores. Print versions are available from the major stores only, with the notable exception of Australia, where print versions are not available from amazon.com.au.

Customer Experience Strategy – Design & Implementation

Net Promoter – Implement the System

Customer-centric Cost Reduction

“So Happy Here”: The Absurdist but Essential Guide to Better Business (Color edition)

“So Happy Here”: The Absurdist but Essential Guide to Better Business (Black & White edition)

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