The Organisation in Question: Stop Badgering People & Start a Dialogue

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Client surveys are a good idea. You'll obtain data and opinion on how you can improve and tweak products and services for the benefit of your client.

For the surveyor it's an exciting prospect as the myriad of questions they're about to unleash will seemingly uncover the secret on how they can get above their competition.

However for the recipient, a survey usually means a barrage of inwardly focused questions about every facet of the organisation in question from the adequacy and thread count of restroom hand towels to 'if our company was an animal, which would it be?'

That may be a slight overstatement, but If you're still not mildly cynical, think hard next time you hear "your call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance or training purposes". Why does it seem these organisations never seem to improve?  The unfortunate result of this is that everybody seems to be listening, but no one seems to be acting. We shouldn't be surprised by this as they must have collated so much information over the years, who'd know where to start?

What you can do

Unless the survey is in relation to a specific intervention to dramatically change strategy, stop berating your audience with 1001 questions.

I propose the following two questions:

Q1: (About your company)
How could our company improve? e.g. Speed / Service / Technology / Process

Q2: (About your client)
What are the challenges that you’re likely to be facing in your business in the next 12 months?

These questions will start a conversation as they don't seek to find one word answers or select a number from 1-5. If you're serious about improvement and increasing perceived value you need to allow people to speak freely, and find out what's really happening in their world.

You'll be amazed at the response and you'll learn far more about how you can improve.

Surveys and survey tools like Survey Monkey are great, but like everything else communications related, just because you can doesn't mean you should.

Q: Was this helpful?....

© Hamish Chadwick 2011. All Rights Reserved

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