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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A question of surveys

I seem to be getting a lot of surveys right now - all prompted by email. In principle, I think that's a good thing - customer interaction logically follows customer engagement, and if you have dialogue via email, why not make the most of it.

But, and it is a big but, without exception, all of these emails have left me cold. Why? Because they are without exception from emailers who have never engaged me - companies from who's lists I am simply too lethargic to unsubscribe.

And to compound matters, they seem to recognise this - by trying, and I use the word in it's broadest sense, to incentivise me to take part in their survey.

Now, again, in principle I am all in favour of this - incentives are great. But they must be good incentives, or they actually disenfranchise readers.

Complete our really boring survey and go into the draw to win one of 3 $50 vouchers. Whoopy-do!

And it gets worse. For some reason, companies outsource not only the mechanics of the survey, but also the wording of it. These surveys completely fail to continue the dialogue style of email which can be so engaging. Impersonal barely covers it. Inadequate is about right. They certainly don't inspire you to eagerly await the next.

So if you have a well engaged database, and you want to interrogate them, do it properly - make the incentive worthwhile, write the survey questions yourself, and then you might get some decent results.

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