Customer experience feedback

Both when entering and when leaving China you can rate your experience of the passport control officer, from sad face ”not satisfied” to happy face ”greatly satisfied”. Basically a good initiative and a nice gesture. But it also raises questions.

You say that you cannot measure without affecting the result. This apparatus makes people conscious and maybe slightly more positive because of the actual gesture of asking. Often it’s the camouflage that reveals, and if you invert that idea you might say that this expressive gesture of sincerity might take focus from negative elements in your experience. So in both cases you can install this device, not necessarily because you are so interested in peoples’ opinion, but in order to make them just feel better about the situation.

Then, how sincere will you be rating a passport control officer? He or she might not see which button you press but how can you know that the officer does not have a little dashboard that immediately shows your choice?

And how good or bad can a passport control officer actually be? Sure, a smile is nice, but at this point all you want is a stamp and get going. On one of my trips to New York I encountered a passport officer who seemed to be the rudest person I ever met, raising his voice and making great drama about me not filling in a certain section of the immigration form, which I actually was not to fill in, in the first place! My impression was not that this person had a bad day, but rather that his instructions were to try making foreign visitors crack. So did he perform badly?

How fair is it to reduce the performance of a service person into four levels of satisfaction? Seems like some form of service management Taylorism to me. Will a loveable officer working at the pace of a snail get the same rating as a one who is quick and stern? Which would you prefer? And what does it even say about a company or even a country that wants to have its people rated with buttons?

Here are some more examples of passport controls.

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  2. Maj 19, 2010: Shanghai at 431 km/h : Olle Torgny – From form to sense

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