When I first learned about exit surveys, I thought they were a brilliant idea. At the place where I worked, I felt like * so * much * energy * was put into getting new staff and new customers, and if just a bit of work was put into retaining staff/customers, life would be much cooler for everyone. We had a high turnover of staff, and so when I heard that exit surveys had been implemented as part of the leaving process for staff, I thought: “Aha! Nobody listened to my feedback, but now they will have to listen to all the people who are leaving, and maybe things will change!”
Nothing really changed. It wasn’t until I quit the company that I realised exit surveys for staff don’t get truthful results because:
a) you don’t want to burn bridges,
b) you don’t want to waste any more of your precious time on a company that didn’t value you (therefore, write “I am leaving because I was interested in other opportunities” and be done with it!),
c) you just don’t care anymore – if they didn’t listen to you before, why tell them the same things in the exit survey? and,
d) the problems at the company are so big, you can’t answer a question like “What, if improved, would have caused you to stay at the organisation?” without your head exploding.
But the idea stayed in my mind. Over the years, sometimes when I’ve decided to stop giving a company my custom, I’ve remembered the concept of the exit survey, and thought about how so many companies must be unaware of why they lose customers. I was just thinking about this today, as I’ve decided to try a new hairdresser and I was thinking: the other one will never know why I stopped coming. Maybe they don’t care, maybe they have enough customers, who knows!
See you later, alligator. 🐊