Is that even a question? Google has to pay people to complete a survey.
So why is it that we all hate surveys so much?
The other day I received a survey in my inbox from one of the largest food chains in Australia. It was literally only minutes after I had walked out of the store. Having used my loyalty card there, I presumed they knew it was the first time I had shopped with them. I was up to my eyeballs in the development of the iFavr app and was looking for affirmation there had to be a better way to get to know what customers want and like so I decided to take the questionnaire.
It started with a promise that my feedback would be used to improve the service at this store. Not that I really cared – we were only visiting for the weekend and I may never shop at this store again.
Next came my pet hate… On a scale of 0 to 10 where 0 means “Not at all likely” and 10 means “Extremely likely”, how likely are you to recommend this store to your relatives, friends and colleagues? I had to pick 0 because they lived 100 miles away!
The next question they changed the scale from 1 “Totally dissatisfied” to 7 “Totally satisfied” and wanted to know whether I was satisfied or dissatisfied with my recent visit. I was going to be generous and pick 7 but then I was required to provide a reason for my choice. Considering that a reason may only be needed for either a very high or low score and as I didn’t want to give a reason I tapped back and lowered the score to 6. This didn’t help, they still would not let me pass.. then 5, then 4 (indifferent) so I gave in and typed “What do you want me to say? Is a groceries store!”
[Are you still with me or is this too painful to read? Hang in there, it is far from over]
The satisfied-dissatisfied questions continued with a 26-word sentence starting with “Thinking about your recent visit…” repeated 6 times, once for each section. To my dismay I read it every time. They wanted to know about the availability of parking- don’t they have CCTV coverage? Did they not consider that I would not have been in the store if I could not get a park anyway; the availability of trolleys and baskets – I would have asked if there were none, the cleanliness of trolleys – why can they not check it themselves?
Next they wanted to know “Ease of moving around the store and aisles.” Lucky for them I was not on crutches, store cleanliness (e.g. no spillage on the floor) – I would have sued them if there was and I had slipped, and then the “general presentation and cleanliness”. The store deserved a 7 but at this stage I was so annoyed with the survey that they got a 2! [Still with me? I also thought this was the end.]
Next came (after reading the 26-word preamble again) stock availability, “correct prices on all products” – how should I know? The range of products, then “overall value for money for my total shop” – I only bought a few items, but were the prices right? Just in case it was not I rated my satisfaction low. Then a question on the waiting time to check out. At this point, I wanted to write that the shopping experience took less time than completing the survey, but there was only the scale of 1 to 7.
Next, what kind of checkout did I used. I was extremely satisfied as I picked the self-service checkout. How was the ease of use of the self-service checkout – was I now rating myself or the checkout? Again extremely satisfied.
That was when I noticed for the first time a bar at the top of the page with “start” on the left and “finish” on the right. I was 25% of the way! I was committed to completing this questionnaire so I tapped next. [I am sure you will not get to the best part at the end of this article, if I carry on like this, so I will only give a summary of the rest.]
There was one question on the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff, a question I thought they could have skipped seeing that I checked out at self-service. Then I had to tick the different departments I visited; fruit and vegetables, meat, bakery and the serviced deli. I had to rate each of the departments – are they using these answers for performance management? Then an important question, “how did this store rate when compared to other supermarkets in the area”. Fortunately, I could pick an answer that stated “I do not know as I do not shop at other stores in the area” – but was that because I am a loyal customer or because I was just visiting?
Another four questions followed on the rewards card that had gotten me into the trouble of answering this survey in the first place. One of them wanted me to agree that the rewards program has “great benefit”. They asked for a reason for the score and I could break it to them that I no longer use their food stores as I am buying from a competitor that is much cheaper (without a rewards program). Then a question if I had any specific ideas on how to improve the service – I was depleted of any creative thought by this time, so I had none.
Did I want the store manager to give me a call? NO! Then agreeing to link this survey to my rewards card – if they could detect that I bought from the this store they already had it linked and finally a thank you page and warmest regards from the CEO. [If you have read to this point I also want to thank you for your patience].
Filling out this survey definitely reaffirmed the necessity for the iFavr app. How do you find out where to shop for groceries? You ask someone who’s opinions you trust where they shop and why. And if you ask enough people, not only do you get to hear of places to shop that you have not considered in the first place, but also a host of reasons why people prefer one over the other.
This is what iFavr does – compares anything and captures the reasons why people like one thing better than the other. In this case, the most valuable piece of information I had to volunteer was, “shopping at a competitor because they were cheaper”.
Why do we hate surveys so much? Because we do not like to be treated as monkeys, we know what we like best and also why we like it. Just ask!