Why does the proliferation of surveys especially ineffectual ones bother me?   Feedback on products and services are extremely important for a company’s growth; but most surveys are the lazy way to generate valuable information. it can be done better!

In the past I have used Survey Monkey to elicit specific  information. it’s short and to the point  It is not done as an automatic email asking about a product or interaction that doesn’t need to be rated. Surveys do have a value but they need to be used better in the hopes of gaining more accurate information.  In the next article I describe the important steps to creating a good survey.

Below are the advantages and disadvantages of surveys in general.  With all the tools now available there is no excuse to keep doing it the way it has been done.  it’s time to think of new ways to generate the desired feedback.

Advantages of Surveys:

  1. Efficiency: Surveys can reach a large number of people quickly and cost-effectively, especially with online survey tools.
  2. Standardization: Questions can be standardized, ensuring all respondents receive the same questions, minimizing bias if done right.
  3. Anonymity: Respondents can answer candidly without fear of judgment or retribution, hopefully leading to more honest responses.
  4. Versatility: Surveys can cover a wide range of topics and gather different types of data (quantitative and qualitative).
  5. Ease of Analysis: Collected data is typically quantitative, making it easier to analyze statistically. Qualitative data is harder to analyze but generally gives more detailed information.

Disadvantages of Surveys:

  1. Response Rate: Low response rates can skew results and affect the reliability of the data.
  2. Sampling Bias: Certain groups may be over or underrepresented, leading to biased results.
  3. Questionnaire Design: Poorly worded questions or response options can lead to misinterpretation or biased responses.
  4. Limited Depth: Surveys may not allow for in-depth exploration or clarification of responses especially when only using quantitative.
  5. Social Desirability Bias: Respondents may provide answers they believe are socially acceptable rather than their true opinions or behaviors.

When people fill out surveys they want to know they are heard.  Offering a raffle of money or a gift card is not an incentive to fill out the survey. It also defeats the anonymity.  There needs to be a better way to let people know their information was received appreciated and hopefully action is taken. They also have to be timed better. I don’t know about you but i am inundated by many that seem like a waste of my time.

If I’m  on the mailing list to receive the survey; how about sending a note thanking me and telling me what actions have been taken based on the surveys. Make sure to keep it real.