Why does everyone forget how to do surveys?

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The third-party survey company, doing a quality survey for my health care provider (doctor’s office), just caught me at a weak moment and I agreed to answer their questions. 20 minutes later, I’m off the phone. What could possibly be wrong with this approach?

1) 20 minutes is way too long, and I’m now resentful. I forget the exact number, but I seem to recall “three”, as the correct number of questions to ask in order to get helpful, cooperative, actionable answers. This has been well-known for decades. How could management approve something so completely at odds with good practice? I like my doctor and her office staff, and even the cooperation they work for. But even I was tempted to simply hang up.

2) Because everyone knows how inconvenient they are, people with gripes are more likely to want to commit to answering telephone surveys. Why not take this inherent bias out of the picture by saying up front, “I have 3 quick questions and they won’t take more than a minute”?

Basically, I’m just aghast that in 2012, survey companies are still doing these ineffective surveys and causing resentment in their client’s customer base. And I’m really aghast that there are still people in management who approve it.

Ralph

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ralph Mroz
Since 1978, Ralph Mroz has managed or implemented nearly every step of the marketing process. His experience spans hands-on tactics to corporate strategic planning, encompassing large corporations, small companies, as well as start-ups.

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