Customer service and customer satisfaction is and has always been a top priority for Safety Glasses USA. We understand that it is the satisfied customer who allows a retailer to maintain its status, if not actually grow in today’s tough economy. For this reason long ago, employed the services of BizRate, a consumer feedback network that collects millions of customer reviews of stores and products in a variety of industries.

BizRate’s role for us was to simply gather data based on our customers’ experiences from actual sales on The format was a short and optional survey that customers would receive after completing the sale. They could select varying performance levels from 1 to 10 on a few key customer satisfaction categories: Purchase Experience; Likely to buy from again; Likely to recommend; Selection of Products; and Competitive Price, among others. The score from one survey was tallied and tracked and blended with that of thousands of others to give us our aggregate rating. Over the years, has been proud to maintain a 99.2% satisfaction rating.

In this survey, customers also had the option of writing their own comments, and many took the opportunity to do just that. A small sampling of customers’ actual compliments can be seen randomly cycling through the lower right area of the homepage. Other comments came in the form of suggestions for website changes or product ideas. Sometimes we agreed, and sometimes not, but we always paid attention.

Overall, the surveys were a valuable part of each sale. They helped us to know, from the customers’ viewpoint, where we were doing a good job in our business practices, and to help identify areas that may have required improvement. And our high standing among BizRate’s elite users earned us the BizRate Circle of Excellence award for three straight years, something we were again very proud of. But somewhere along the way, BizRate, a part of Shopzilla, lost sight of the focus of these surveys for their merchant clients. The once valuable data gathering business barometer became an avenue for Shopzilla to make some extra money from our active customers.

Although the logo appeared atop the survey window, it was often a BizRate/Shopzilla offer of a “$100 Reward” that piqued an online shopper’s interest. But upon further clicking and reading, this “reward” turned into an offer for magazine subscriptions worth up to $100. It may seem benign to read about it now, but many of our customers felt differently as they experienced it. In a time when the value of good customers is at a premium, and many people are still just becoming comfortable with online purchases, we certainly don’t want to give a bad first impression to a new customer, or turn off an existing one.

Here are just one customer’s comments on the issue:

“I like your company. I order from you often. The bogus “˜Receive $100″™ survey at the end of the ordering process that turns out to be magazines is stupid and unprofessional. Are you a safety equipment company or some kind of scam operation? Lose the bogus survey. Fire the genius VP that came up with the idea.”

It should be understood that while these offers may be perceived as a joint marketing effort with BizRate, we can assure you that played no part in the conception, creation, or willful promoting of these offers.  After multiple requests by us to remove their offers from the surveys, it became clear that the only way to truly eliminate any irrelevant BizRate offers was to discontinue the surveys altogether. Unfortunately, this may mean that loses its eligibility for future Circle of Excellence awards. But as mentioned earlier, we listen to our customers, and the message of no BizRate offers has been heard loud and clear.

Enhanced by Zemanta may seek out the services of a more customer-friendly survey system from which to obtain feedback. But either way, we will continue to make improvements in all areas as needed. We thank our customers who have stuck with us despite these questionable BizRate offers, and pledge to bring you the best service possible going forward.