February 18, 2012 BY MJ PENCE
Survey requests are crazy. Recently I ventured to a well-known sunglass brand store, bought some cool shades and then received a 13-inch receipt with purchase details and a laundry list of super small print. It is bad enough I have to sign my name, which I actually don’t do anymore. It seems senseless in today’s digital and paperless world. My current signature reads ‘M. Mouse’. And not one person has ever questioned me. I digress with laughter. Now back to the 13 inches…
Normally I just file these silly pieces of paper that feel like fax paper from the 1980s in my round file on the floor. Considering the coolness factor of this store though, I decided to read the fine print. Maybe there was something I needed to know about my new shades?
It’s another survey request.
But wait, perhaps this so-called contest is different. I wondered what the chances were that I could actually win a pair of new shades. I mean, how long could this survey actually be? We’re just talking about sunglasses right?
And what about the survey?
I couldn’t help but look. Well, let me get to the point quickly. In today’s age, waiting for a webpage to load on a browser even 20 seconds seems like an eternity. I just don’t have the patience, let alone the time. Do they know how many other things online I do in a day? The page did load fast but the statement ‘this survey should take approximately 15-20 minutes’ killed the deal regardless. I mean let’s be honest…what a time sink this could be! And in all likelihood, I will be a loser in the national sweepstakes. Who wants to be a loser anyway? I digress again.
When are retailers going to realize that surveys that look like emergency room questionnaires are not going to cut it? And most of all, incentives, rewards, prizes, or whatever they want to call it, have to be reasonably attainable and worth the time spent in order to entice consumers to do something or get something done. For me, I just dropped a Ben Franklin at the store and for my time and feedback; I get a legal agreement and a loss of 15-20 minutes of my time doing something I really don’t want to do.
It is what it is.
What are you going to do?
Fo-get bout it’ (dub in Jersey accent).
So take it from me. This is my advice and feedback Mr. Retailer for free. No contest. No agreements. Just the cold hard facts, right down the middle.
Forget the contest, just ask me and really listen. I am already talking about your brand, your store, and my customer experience to my friends and family. Problem is, you don’t listen very well and you don’t know where to find me most of the time. And even if you did, how do I know that my feedback actually means anything to you? Surveys just disappear into a corporate black hole right? And no, I am not on Facebook talking about customer experiences or brands between my post about last night’s party and my sister-n-law’s pictures from her nephew’s birthday party. It’s not that easy. But I am online so keep looking or come up with something new that will grab my attention.
You have to make it simple too and less formal. It needs to feel less like a survey contest and more natural. Nobody wins playing those silly contests anyway right? I know, of course someone does, but like the Lotto, nobody loves the Lotto until they are the winner. At least with the Lotto, there isn’t a lengthy questionnaire before you buy the ticket. So please, look somewhere else for my feedback and most of all, if you find me and truly want my feedback, give me something in return for my time. I at least did my part. I bought something from you. It is the least you could do for my invaluable customer feedback and me.
Now that is worth something.