Does Your Feedback Have a Case of the Mondays?

In the song “Friday I'm In Love”, The Cure declared, “I don't care if Monday's blue / Tuesday's grey and Wednesday too….”

He may say he doesn’t care, but if singer-songwriter Robert Smith were asked to answer a customer satisfaction survey on Friday, when he’s in love, I’m guessing his feedback would be more positive than on Monday.

And the truth is Robert Smith is not the only one.

Objective data has revealed differences in customer feedback depending on what day of the week customers are asked their opinions. Many of our key clients, for example, have found variations in their customers’ “willingness to recommend,” or WTR, scores of 3 to 4 points between Monday and Friday. In fact, there is generally an upward trend in satisfaction during the week. (Yes, Robert, Monday is indeed blue – relatively speaking.)

At call centers, markedly lower WTR scores are recorded on Mondays and Tuesdays than on other days. In retail also, there seems to be a lot of variance by day of the week in WTR scores. Even among clients for whom the differences in their WTR scores from day to day were not large, it was still clear that the results were influenced by the day of the week that feedback was collected.

This raises an almost philosophical question: If your customers are less satisfied on Mondays than on Thursdays, then what is their “real” opinion? More important for customer experience professionals, what can be done with this information?

Is it reasonable to dismiss feedback obtained on a Monday, for instance, because we think customers are negatively influenced by “a case of the Mondays”? Or is it our own staff that needs to be trained to be more pleasant on Mondays? Or is there something else going on?

In a recent project, for example, we recommended that a particular telecommunications outlet increase its staff-to-foot traffic ratio on Mondays. Our granular analysis of customer feedback trends determined that patrons were less satisfied on Mondays primarily due to understaffing.

In another example, this time at a large call center, we identified lower WTR scores on Mondays. Our analysis suggested it may have been due to customer frustration over the call center being closed on Sundays. Where the WTR score differential is significant, it may even be worthwhile in such a case to add Sunday working hours.

In order to really understand the voice of the customer, we must be able to identify daily fluctuations in customer satisfaction feedback. These subtleties can be leveraged to identify in-house best practices or, at times, to guide revisions of outdated company policies.

Then, with a bit of creativity, we can banish the “Monday morning blues” for all our customers.

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