Sunday, March 23, 2014

Far Exceeds

Consider this rating scale:

It's from an article about rating rating scales, and it's a typical assessment mechanism. At a place I worked at a while back, we used such a scale to gauge our customer satisfaction. Customers, in this case, were the people we were doing work for, be they external to the company or fellow workers whom we supported.

If the customer liked the person requesting to be rated, they would naturally give them a higher grade. It would go something like this: "I like Dan a lot, and he's doing good work for me. I'll give him the highest score (a 2 on the scale above, or possibly a 5 if the scale contained scores ranging from 1 to 5)."

I unsuccessfully argued against the use of such a scale. Sure, it's good to have your customers like you, and it's very important to meet their expectations. But is it even a good thing to exceed expectations? They might be happy if the person they're rating does do more than expected, but doesn't that imply that we rateees/suppliers may be giving something (in our case, services) away for free? I can see that this too would be good occasionally, but if you give away the store one too many times, the store may eventually go under.

And what does it mean to Greatly Exceed Expectations? Isn't that really giving away the store? In what universe is that a good thing for the store?

All this went through my head when I stepped on the scale (the kind that measures weight) the other day. I hadn't been checking my weight for quite some time, but I still had my expectations. And, you guessed it, they were Greatly Exceeded! Unfortunately, not in a good way. I'm working on this little problem. I still do the fasting thing, but it's the feast days that need to be scaled back. Check with me in a month or so.

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