It’s a matter of principle for me. I know that the field of Loyalty research has shown that understanding what your customers think of you help you improve your business. Business with high loyalty scores do better than those with low scores. Sounds good. But it doesn’t convince me to actually complete them.
I used to try. As a former Marketing Research Professional, I felt obligated to try. But I found it annoying and unfulfilling. It didn’t seem to matter what I really thought, the people who designed the survey were just after me to pick a number.
Plus, I have some other problems. First, there is the manipulation problem. A cashier asking you to fill out the survey to document the “wonderful” service she provided is manipulative. The crew on the cruise ship who tells you that they are trying to reach 100% satisfaction on the survey is trying to make you feel guilty if you give them anything less. I get why this happens, it’s because the surveys are used to determine bonuses. But what does that say about their validity? Would you trust the 100% from the cruise ship?
Second problem: This contributes to the inundation of consumer with surveys. It is one of the reasons (I believe) for the decline in response rates for surveys.
Third problem: It measures the execution part of the equation, one that has less leverage than strategy and tactics. It uses up some of the good will of declining number of consumers who will complete surveys on measuring execution. But that means they will have less tolerance for surveys that help inform strategy and tactics.
Unfortunately, I have no say on this matter except in my behavior. So, I am boycotting any loyalty surveys but I will gladly complete a true market research survey (which I can now do, having left my career.) I hope you consider joining me in making that distinction.