It's high political season again, so it's time once more to look at the differences between Customer Service Surveys and political polling:
Things which are easier for Customer Service Surveys:
1. Customer Service Surveys are measuring past experiences rather than predicting future behavior. Measuring past experiences is a much easier problem.
2. Nobody accuses us of bias if they don't like the results of a Customer Service Survey.
3. Demographic differences tend to be relatively small in a Customer Service Survey.
Things which are harder for Customer Service Surveys:
1. Time is critical, and customers should be surveyed within an hour of the end of the call.
2. To make the survey most useful, survey data needs to be matched to other data from inside the call center (such as agent ID, type of call, etc.). Political polling data stands on its own.
3. Call centers value having a long history of consistent survey data, making it difficult to add, remove, or change survey questions.
Things which are pretty much the same for all surveys:
1. Proper sampling technique and getting a statistically large number of survey responses is critical for having meaningful data.
2. Details of how the survey is administered can make a difference in the results.
3. The top-level statistics (the "headline") really only tell part of the story.