Oh No, Not Another Survey! Consumers Revolt…

The following is sourced from the New York Times. You may need to create an account to access the full article.

Businesses want your opinion of them, too, and their requests for feedback, like relentless tugs on the sleeve, now seem to come with every purchase, every call to a customer service department and every click of a mouse that is followed with a pop-up ad pleading with users to take a survey about the “Web site experience.”

NYT reporter, William Grimes, outlines some of the challenges companies and consumers face in the online world, especially the ease at which companies can throw a survey at you.

Consumer patience may be fraying under the onslaught. The constant nagging has led to a condition known as survey fatigue and declining response rates over the last decade.

To counter survey fatigue, companies are pressing consumers with renewed urgency. On their register receipts, stores like Walmart, Petco and Rite Aid include a Web address and an invitation to fill out a survey, with the chance to win a prize. At Staples, the prize is a $5,000 store card.

Grimes article talks mostly about the B2C world, just today I had to call my telco provider. Within minutes of the call concluding I had an email hit my inbox asking for my opinion of their service. It was just three questions with the option for me to add comments. This was easy, not at all confronting and so I responded. The operator asked my permission to send the email before our call concluded. 

At CRMNow we try to keep any survey’s to a minimum. If we’re adding value, prospects and clients will stick with us i.e. they won’t unsubscribe. While the internet is awash with the notion of giving things away for free, in the B2B space I think it’s best to give nothing away for free. I’m not suggesting your charge for everything, not at all. 

If you’re wanting to offer people access to thought leadership e.g. white papers, video content etc, just ask them a few profiling questions before you provide them access. Keep your questions to a minimum, two to three questions is perfect

Be sensible, the first question should not be “Do you have budget?” or “Please provide your mobile number“. Take it easy and ask less confronting questions, questions that provide you with insight that you don’t already have. 

Parts of this blog were reproduced from the New York Times: “When Businesses Can’t Stop Asking, ‘How Am I Doing?’”. By WILLIAM GRIMES. Published: March 16, 2012

About Derek

Derek has worked in the Sales & Marketing Consulting and CRM industries for over 17 years. He's consulted to companies here and overseas helping them develop processes to support their lead generation, marketing and sales businesses. He sees CRM as an enabler and not a solution by and of itself. Implemented with users in mind and a clear view of defined processes, companies can derive great value from their CRM.

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