by Shona Dawson

I thought I would share a personal survey experience that I encountered this morning. The survey I received had been issued by a very ‘reputable’ company after I had recently purchased a very ‘reputable’ product.

I understand fully the importance of feedback and therefore I am often happy to provide an insight into my experiences, in the hope that I am listened to and recommendations are acted upon.

However, I have to admit, I was surprised by this survey from the moment I launched it. After seeing the first page (the page that is supposed to inform you of why you are here and what they want from you) I had to re-check my email and make sure that it wasn’t SPAM! The survey had been deployed via a third party survey software company, no branding or customization showcased the product or organization that the survey was referring too, and the questions seemed largely irrelevant and not at all what I had expected from the survey. I assumed that since I had recently purchased their product, they would be keen to find out how I was enjoying it; overall satisfaction; any issues I had experienced; how would I rate its performance and functionality, etc. Instead, I was asked if I worked for the organization, did I work in market research, how did I hear about the product, and finally, who was the product purchased for? That was it, an abrupt ending to an abrupt survey.

My point to this story is that often, you have one chance to generate good customer/product/employee feedback, and it pays to get it right. As in the above example, I would be hesitant to answer any follow-up surveys that are produced by this company/product. You need to hook your respondents in from the beginning; engage them, and then explore their experiences as much as you can, in as short a time as you can.

I actually emailed the company back along with the exact same survey they had issued to me, this time branded and customized for their product/service. It would be nice to think that they will take notice and even look at changing their survey software provider to relate more to their ‘reputable’ organization and its products, as well as realizing that customer feedback is extremely important to any product or service looking to survive in today’s market.