Surveys Don't Have to be Dull ... Do They?

The best way to know what people are really thinking is to ask them. That's why surveys, sometimes literally, pop up everywhere. But surveys usually aren't very engaging. In fact, they're often downright tedious ... and dull.

Love them or hate them, surveys play a vital role in consumer-based companies. Bearing that in mind, why do some companies create long, complicated surveys that turn their customers off? Just as there is such a thing as too much information, there is also such a thing as too many questions. It might help if they created another survey, one that asks their customers to ratef their experiences with past product or service questionnaires. It could provide researchers with some much needed understanding about what does or doesn't motivate consumers to participate in surveys. Pretentious language can also turn people off.

Survey questions should be short, sweet and to the point. They should not read like questions on a college exam. Questions phrased in a conversational manner might make consumers feel more engaged and, therefore, more willing to take the time to answer them. It works on the Internet.

While social media research won't replace traditional surveys, it can help companies get to know their customers betters, which could in turn help them to create better survey questions. Paying attention to the language consumers use and incorporating it in the surveys won't go unnoticed, even if consumers don't openly acknowledge it. Still, some people think surveys should go the way of the Dodo.

Although Annie Pettit of Conversition Strategies may have been joking when she said that boring surveys -- meaning pretty much all surveys -- should be banned, there are probably a lot of people who quite seriously agree with her. If it ever actually happened, it might give survey creators the wake up call they need. Who knows, taking surveys might even become fun.

All companies, especially consumer-based companies, benefit from using surveys. So, it would behoove them to find a way to create surveys that hold their customers' interest.
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