Stupid business mistakes #5 :: Having call centers ask your customers about their satisfaction

I was just called by a call center agent, inquiring about my satisfaction with a service inquiry I had with a lost DHL package.

They were polite, but effectively disinterested in what I had to say (indeed, I had an issue I wanted to communicate, see below).

The call center agent tried to follow a script, and he wanted to force my feedback within his pre-defined script format. He declined to forward my “free-form” feedback to DHL.

He also said that he really can’t do anything about my issue.

No way. This is not what good customer service is about. It is not about asking “are you satisfied?”, by the way I can’t do anything for you, and I don’t really seem to care.

If you call a select group of customers to ask them about their satisfaction, be prepared to fix issues they might have, or be prepared to forward the information to people which can.

Especially with dissatisfied customers, you should also try to listen instead of trying to force them to jump through additional hoops to make themselves heard.

DHL, wake up and take customer inquiries seriously again – do them in-house. This is well-invested money. AND let this be done by the people who are working on the front lines.

Feedback from external people will be ignored mostly.

Stop using call centers to “get a good buzz that we’re doing allright”. Get raw, intense feedback. Allow that to drive your business.

OK, but what is my issue?

The issue I have, by the way, is that DHL is asking whether I have an external insurance for the lost packages. (I also need to confirm that I answer truthfully)

I do indeed. But I don’t want to use that insurance for trifles. If the packages are insured with DHL, it is not of concern to DHL whether they are insured elsewhere as well – I pay for the insurance to DHL.

This has cost me money already; and I am using this way to communicate my dissatisfaction about the situation with DHL.


I received an e-Mail from DHL with a standarized message, and a [email protected]” email address:


They did not address the issue in a personal manner. Again, they made it impossible for me to reply right away.

With disgruntled customers that is what you have to do: you have to listen to them, to reply to them and repeat them back in your own words what you understand their problem is.

DHL basically just reiterated that they try to streamline their processes and use automated replies wherever possible.

Whatever floats their boat … or not. Let’s see if they are still around in 50 years, or if they mend their ways.