Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Survey Says?

There seems, to me, to be an epidemic of surveys. I must be wearing some secret Post-It note on my back saying, "Send this guy surveys". I can't go more than a couple of days without getting a request to complete a survey. Today I got one from Autodesk asking me to rate my relationship with my reseller. Last night I got two from the last two hotels I stayed in. Last week our car received its routine maintenance and sure enough we received both an email request to complete a survey and a follow up phone survey.

When I visit my car dealer or visit a hotel they seem intent on letting you know that you'll be getting a survey, as if that's a great thing for me, and that they really want to make sure I give them the highest score. So the conversation goes something like this, "Mr. Stafford we want you to know that you'll get a survey via email and it is really important to us that you give us all "Fives". If there is any reason you can't do that please let us know right away so we can fix the problem."

Maybe I'm old fashioned but isn't asking for praise a bit awkward? If I were to ask my past bosses, "Hey! I need you to fill out a survey and give me all fives!" I'd probably have been laughed at (nevermind what that says about me). What sort of reliable data is a survey that is first foisted upon the recipient and then the added emphasis on providing a perfect score?

The hotel cleaning person last night put a nice card on the center of my desk, XYZ Hotel's "Caught a person doing their best" form. I suppose this meant I was supposed to fill out that this person was doing an excellent job at doing their job? Are we supposed to catch someone we never see doing a great job? If my room looked just like it did for the last three times I was there is that excellent or above the call of duty? How many of these forms do I have to fill out? What about the poor person(s) I haven't encountered? Do I need to fill out generic forms saying, "I'm really sorry that I didn't catch "xxx" doing his/her job well today. I'm sure they are really doing their best and I was just preoccupied and missed it!"

Last week I needed help tracking someone down at the hotel and I couldn't remember their last name. The person at the front desk was awesome at helping me figure out how he could find them and still not divulge any private information. He also was really helpful all week for a variety of reasons. He deserved a card because I interacted with him and he did something out of the ordinary, more than his job description might actually say he needed to do.

Six months or so ago I even got a call from a woman in Berlin wanting me to do a survey. I agreed because her German accent was so strong that I couldn't help wonder how we'd manage get through the survey. I literally had to ask her to repeat every question and I wasn't trying to be a jerk either.

So I'm not replying to surveys anymore, I'm protesting. Call me obstinate. Leave me alone! I want my car company to leave me alone to enjoy the car. I don't want to get telephone calls to conduct a survey that won't, under any circumstance, give up. They call and call and call and call. They call at all hours. I programmed a special ring on my phone for their number just so I'd know it was them calling. So far I haven't given in but they are calling from another number now!

So would you mind taking a brief survey on what you think of surveys?

David posted this at his blog about working in a Central File (a little reference back to Revit) and it describes my feelings so well that I thought I'd steal it and use it here! Thanks for reading!

No Surveys!!

1 comment:

Dave Baldacchino said...

LOL! This was a good laugh to end the day. As I was laying on the couch reading this post and smiling silently, my wife was questioning..."What on earth are you smiling about?!". I had to tell her and she laughed too. We can surely relate to those darn surveys!

There's a new phenomenon out on the web now too. Yesterday she was trying to get to some weather websites because we were in a strong thunderstorm, the satellite was out and she was wanting to see the doppler radar view, so she got on the web with my laptop, went to and a video commercial played and had to finish before she could view what she wanted! She then went to one of the local TV station's website...same thing! We got rid of commercials thanks to DVR and now we have to contend with them on the internet. Can't win eh?