Survey Me -- or Else
We had an interesting experience yesterday in the office, which is prompting me to write a short post about surveys.
I'm always amazed at how little many organizations know about their audiences, when finding out is so very easy. Given that the technology is inexpensive (we offer an unlimited SurveyMonkey account for $100/year), I think the main reason managers don't survey more often is that they somehow feel that audience will be annoyed at being asked a bunch of questions.
Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, people LOVE to give their opinions. This was proved in spades today when, after sending out a survey to our clients, one of them responded as follows:
Sort of a waste of my time that you sent a message asking for my input. I
had to type in my contact info and then when you found out that I didn't use
an automated ticketing system, you terminated the survey. I'll be much less
likely to "help you out" next time.
The subject line of the survey was clear: "We want to learn more about your ticketing needs." Of course, for those that don't have ticketing needs at all, the survey itself was very short! But that data point itself (whether or not an organization uses a ticketing system) is still valuable information for us.
When this colorful response came in, a few staff members were taken aback. Why was this guy so upset?
After thinking about it for a while, it hit me that the reason this guy got pissed off is that we didn't give him enough of a chance to give his opinion! He was dying to do the survey – he looked forward to it, and when the survey ended too quickly for him, he was frustrated.
Doesn't that amaze you? It did me.
Next time you wonder if your audience wants to give you feedback, don't think twice. They do – and they will.
So start surveying. You'll be amazed at what you will learn.