It was a dark and stormy night, the fire was lit, dinner was in the oven (fish pie), the kids were watching a movie, I’d just poured a glass of wine, and then….it went all dark! All the lights went out and every appliance went off. At first it was exciting – torches were found, the kids huddled round the fire and we began to investigate what had gone wrong.


It turns out that inquisitive 14 year-old boys can be a real asset in a situation like this – within a few minutes we’d established that it was not a problem with our fuse box, nor was it an area wide outage (as the neighbours lights were still on). So the next step was to call the energy provider and see if they could help.


And there begins my blog post, really…..


Okay, it was a Friday night – and I can accept that the wait time to get our call answered would be long. But it was a long wait, in the dark, with restless children, and the excitement had worn off by now. The initial call was not terribly satisfactory either – the long wait and then we were informed they’d have to send the faults guy who was on another job and would come to us once he’d done. No, they didn’t know the location of the job he was at, no they didn’t know how long it would take him to finish, or how long it would take him to then travel to us. “he’ll be there sometime this evening….enjoy your Friday!”


In fact he arrived, having rushed from the previous job, only 20 minutes later. He was delightful – nothing was a problem – he seemed to appreciate the ground work said 14 year-old had put in, and he quickly identified the problem being a fuse out on the street. Off he went to find and replace, and within 5 minutes the lights were on again and the fish pie resumed cooking (I can confirm it was delicious despite the interruption).


Later that evening, once we’d finished dinner and were all commenting on what great service we’d had from our energy provider, and in particular the “faults guy”, as if they heard us there was a ping from my email to let me know I could complete a feedback survey.


The first (and as it turned out, only) question asked how likely we’d be to recommend. I gave a low score – because of the long wait time and the lack of information provided in the initial call – and explained my reasons for my low score in the comments box that followed. Then I hit ‘next’, ready to give a really high score for the second part of the survey, which I anticipated would logically correspond to the second part of my experience – the arrival of the fabulous “faults guy”.


But that was it – the survey was over and submitted and we didn’t get the chance to say anything about the faults guy, who had so impressed us with his speed and his attitude.


At BigEars we advise our clients to keep their surveys short – overly long and/or pedantic surveys are a huge cause of modern ‘feedback fatigue’, but this is taking brevity too far! A survey comprising two or three such questions would have taken only fractionally longer, and would have given this energy provider a much better picture of their overall service.