Customer Feedback and Ministry Evaluations

Recently I have had two experiences with customer service feedback – not counting those website codes you get at some checkouts. The first came while trying to get my home phone/dsl working properly. We noticed the dsl running slow and then the phone would lose its signal. So we called Verizon to let them know we were having problems with our phone line. After talking with a technician on the phone, who couldn’t do anything but give me another number to call to get someone to come and manually look at and repair the line, she asked me how I would rate her customer service on a scale of 1 to 5. I’m all for customer service evaluations, but having the person just ask me. Come on! I don’t think that is a fair or good way to go about it. I could have told her a 1 and she could have written down whatever she wanted. Or if I did tell her 1, how would she respond? Would she want to know why? Would she just hang up and be mad the rest of the day?

The other instance came after eating dinner at Applebee’s. Our waitress gave us a survey (when I say us, I mean the two females at the table got one and I didn’t) to fill out about our visit. It was a fairly normal survey until you got to the last question – “Are you a pharmaceutical representative?” I just find that strange. But I think it would have something to do with them thinking/knowing they have a lot of pharmaceutical reps who use Applebee’s for meetings.

Anyway, I got to thinking about how ministries evaluate themselves. Sometimes, we just ask people face to face, asking questions like this:
“How do you think the ________ ministry is going?”
“What do you think about ___________ (insert person’s name)?”
“Did you like _______________ or should we avoid that next time?”
“Didn’t _____________ do a good job tonight?”

How do we really expect people to answer these questions? If we want to hear what we want to hear, I think these are great questions. But I’m afraid that sometimes we are too afraid to hear the truth. I am all for asking people in person what they think, but I don’t always think the minister or person in charge should be the person asking the question.

The other method we use is questionnaires. These allow for more openness, but still have a drawback. I like annomnimous, but then you can’t follow up. If you have people put there names, then they are not always completely honest. Is there a better way?

Feedback is so important to a ministry. How do you go about getting input? How do you evaluate ministries? Do you evaluate on a regular basis?


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