Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Button-Pushing Feedback

This morning I went to Beijing Capital International Airport to head to Hong Kong. 

At passport control, there were many people in line and to pass the time, I checked out the TV screen above us which showed a polite customer service message from the Beijing General Station of Entry and Exit Frontier Inspection of the People's Republic of China. 

It basically said that in order to better serve people, it had to know where it was going wrong in the process in order to improve. Which is why they put these customer service feedback buttons at each officer's station. And after the passport control process was completed, each passenger should either press "very satisfied", "satisfied", "check too long" or "not satisfied" to evaluate the officer that served them.

Most of the officers seemed to be working very quickly, so the line moved quite fast, and presumably good feedback. 

Us passengers just want these routine checks to be as efficient and painless as possible; and to their credit, the Chinese have made it so.

However, these buttons really give an indication if anything is wrong with the process? How can people elaborate if they have a complaint by only having the choice of pressing one button?

Accumulating these kinds of statistics make it easy to assess a person's work performance, but do they really give a true picture of what problems if any they are having?

If I pressed "not satisfied" would that mean a black mark next to my name and I would get hassles when I tried to get back into the country? Best to be nice...

It's just another opportunity for China to statistically prove that it's serving X many customers each day. But who knows if they really are well served... or not?

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