hoopsI don’t mind doing surveys. We help businesses start conversations with customers to so I know how valuable it can be. I regard answering a few questions as doing my bit to help someone else succeed. We all need support and input to do that. While its no secret I’m a big fan of video feedback and actively promote its use, I accept that research agencies not using it are still getting great insights from asking customers to select sentences which best reflect their attitudes or rate services from 1 to 10. After all, these surveys aren’t done in isolation, the results are appended with other data sources, years of experience and an in-depth knowledge of their clients businesses to carve a way forward which makes sense. What does frustrate me is when a survey requires me to jump through hoops and doesn’t manage the process.

This week I received an email from a research agency representing a well know department store carrying out tablet research. I’m a pretty patient person (Lord knows I need to be working in B2B!) but they lost me. Way too much effort, not enough motivation. Here’s what would have worked to retain my attention and driven me to the finish line.

Segment Respondents ASAP

When it comes to technology I’m in the minority. I have desktop, laptop, mobile and tablet and use all most days.The email told me the survey was about using tablets to visit websites but I had to click through to then find out I needed access to a tablet to do the survey. Should have put that in the email. Better still if they only targeted tablet owners.

Sell Business Objectives

It was obvious from the questions that the store is reviewing its tablet business. While I don’t expect any sensitive information in there about % of sales they’re not getting I needed extra motivation to fill in the free text boxes. I found the repetition of ‘Please provide us with as much detail as possible we’re really interested in hearing your views! ‘ annoying. Treat me like the adult I am. I can help this shop – appeal to my good will. ‘XXX current tablet isn’t working for customers. They need to find out where they’re going wrong’

Rethink the Reward/Time Exchange

Entry into a £250.00 cash prize draw wasn’t that inventive. Could have given a £10 voucher or a bar of chocolate, mug whatever to 25 people from XXX to thank them for helping them to improve their services. I see this as a missed opportunity for the brand to connect. Get them into a shop.

Respect My Time  

The survey required me to visit 2 shops on my tablet then return to the survey to report on what I liked and what I didn’t like. Not once but twice. Thoughts entering my head ‘Why am I doing this and not XXX digital agency?(XXX had probably mapped out the differences between competitor sites but were looking for the winning formulas. Guess I was starting to get antsy at this point) How long do you expect me to wonder around? What are you trying to achieve?? I expect there is some data attached to the amount of time it took me to return to the survey from touring but just didn’t make sense to me. Ask me to find a top I like, ask me to put 3 things in my basket but don’t ask me to wonder round. Im goal oriented. I also have things to do. Am happy to help, I rely on people to help me understand my clients customers but you need to give me an idea of how long this will take.

Put A Completion Bar On It


Think About Video – Technically this is 6 –Can’t help myself I rate video for motivating people. Could have used some before I was required to go touring. Leaving a survey to review other sites is a bit of a pain, we both know that, but it could have been acknowledged with a little humour and a reason why it would help. Nice message from a friendly face could have spurred me on. Surprised me. Refocused my attention. Made me want to help out more because the lady/man in the video was nice.