Would you know if your users were dissatisfied?

More than 40% of IT departments don't run user satisfaction surveys. When asked why, IT leaders usually respond "I would know if my users were not satisfied, I don't need a survey for that". But is it really the case? Lets take a closer look.

55% of people are surprised by a divorce

Research shows that most marriages that fails are not high-conflict marriages, and one of the partner is often surprised by the decision of their spouse to divorce.  These couples didn't have ecstatic marriage by any means, but they didn't fight all the time either.  But the status of the relationship was clearly not the same for both parties, to the point where one person thought things were fine while the other filed for divorce.

What does it have to do with IT? It simply shows that people are poor judge of the status of their relationship, especially when there are no open conflicts. "Business as usual" relationships doesn't mean that all is well, it simply means that no one is openly complaining about it.

Most users don't complain when they are dissatisfied

Research also shows that most users don't complain when they are dissatisfied. there are a lot of reasons for this:

  • They believe it won't change anything
  • They believe it will take too much effort for little gain
  • They are afraid of retribution
  • They don't know how to file a complaint

In fact, statistics shows that less than 4% of customers complain when they are dissatisfied, and this statistics is even worst in the case of B2B relationships.

Don't assume everything is ok

Companies with healthy complaint rate typically hovers at around 1%. Therefore, a high performing IT department with 1,000 users should receive around 10 complaints a month. If you get fewer than that (or none), it could be because you are really good or that users simply gave up.

The only way to know if users are satisfied is to ask them. User satisfaction surveys allows IT departments to get an accurate and objective view of their relationship with their end users.


  • Dissatisfied users typically don't complain
  • The only way to know if a user is satisfied is to ask them
Posted on October 18, 2013 .