I just realized this morning that I hate surveys. They tend to be as impersonal and non-conversational as a TV signal — even when a human being is conducting the survey in person. They always see me as part of a group rather than as an individual (which is how each of us feels our needs). They always make assumptions (about me, about what I might want, about what I belong to) that range from slightly-off to outright-wrong. And they always lead to conclusions that represent neither me nor the population in which I am being grouped.
I don’t doubt or deny that surveys do a lot of good. But only in the context of a marketplace where vendors alone bear the full responsibility for relating to customers. Once we, as customers, get tools that let us educate vendors personally, many surveys will become unnecessary. One way we can gauge the success of VRM is by watching the number of surveys decline.
Thought: Some of the best survey questions are the ones that never get asked because sales and marketing impulses override knowledge that the customer would certainly say “no”.
One example is a global customer preference not to hear a sales pitch, “you can go to our website” or “our menu has changed”.
The ability to express global preferences is high on my VRM wish list.