Friday, November 11, 2011

Stop with the Surveys...No Really...Stop

This post comes in the middle of my series on volunteer leadership development - Part 2 is coming shortly but until then....

Working as a Director of Membership, I understand the benefit of receiving feedback from your customers (or members).  Are we serving you well?  What else do you need?  What path should we take in the future?  There are times that surveys are relevant and helpful to get that information - but in the efforts to know how they are doing, I have reached a tipping point.

The surveys on everything have to stop.

Some surveys I have been asked to take over the past month:

1. How was my flight (yes each leg)?
2. How was the boarding process for my flight?
3. How was the service and food at the restaurant I ate at?
4. How was my shopping experience?
5. How satisfied am I with my online purchase?
6. How was my customer service experience with my cable provider (this one deserves a post unto itself)?
7. How was my recent stay at a hotel?
8. What are my feeling on the service I received at my last oil change?
9. Is the toilet paper we use soft enough?

Ok, maybe not that last one - but you get the point.

This is not an all or nothing premise.  There are certainly asks that I have received where I have enjoyed giving feedback. 

- Yesterday I attended the ProgressU Bloggers Summit - it was a great day, and a way to recharge the 'professional development' batteries.  I was happy to fill out a review.
- I actually have to recognize ASAE twice in this list
  • I recently responded to Peter O'Neil's open call to ASAE members to contribute their thoughts on the direction ASAE should take with the upcoming Volunteer Leadership Retreat.  I appreciate being given the opportunity to share my thoughts on a community I belong to and am invested in, and encourage others to do the same 
  • Earlier this year ASAE used crowd sourcing to help determine a number of session selections for the 2012 Marketing, Membership & Communication Conference.  Again, having a voice in what material is presented not only gives me greater incentive to attend, but is also appreciated as I can hear from a broader association voice on their thoughts as well.
Of course, some of this would be a mute point if I saw any change, or received what was done with my feedback (particularly with the cable experience....1.5 hours of my life I can never get back).  Taking the time to fill out a survey, to have it disappear into the black hole of no response makes any feedback you gave seem meaningless.  The surveys that I do fill out at this point are largely for places where I have personal buy-in, or at least see the results of my input.  In particular, I look forward to hearing how the input we have given ASAE for the Retreat shapes the action and projects for the year to come.

As for the rest of these surveys, I will just continue to ignore or delete them since I plan on still traveling, eating, watching TV, shopping and just living my life - and I know they will still be sent to me. 

Or maybe I will just send each company back a survey asking how satisfied they are with the survey results they are getting.

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