Why Should I Answer a Survey?
I’ve always wondered why should I answer a survey. These days it seems surveys are consistently popping up. Some come via e-mail; some just appear in my browser when I’m navigating the web. Many times it’s after I’ve bought a product, received a service, or just used a website. Either immediately or a day later up pops the request to complete a survey. So I’ve taken advantage of the company that is asking the survey by using their services or products, but isn’t my payment to them enough. One thing always perplexes me though, why do I feel obligated to answer a survey. Most of the time the company doesn’t tell me how long it will take to complete the survey or the nature of the questions being asked. Why should I even waste my time answering a survey. There are good and bad reasons to answer a survey.
1. To get ideas for surveys of my own. When I’m in the process of putting together a survey, I find that looking over a survey from time to time may give me some fresh ideas about questions I may want to ask.
2. To get ideas for my own business. If I’m in a similar business as the company asking the survey, I find that looking over a survey from time to time may give me some new thoughts on what concerns my competitors have and where my industry is trending.
3. I really want to provide feedback. The company is one I do business with frequently. Feedback that I give them will help them to provide better services or products that in turn will help my business or help me out personally.
4. I just want to help out a company. The company is an organization I belong to or support. I like the company and I believe in what they are doing. The survey may allow them to gather feedback that will ultimately improve the products and/or services they provide.
5. I want the free gift or chance to win the drawing they are offering. Yes, if I really want the free gift, then I have to answer the survey. But I need to keep in mind that if I put my name in for the drawing, I’m more likely to win the local lottery and I’ve probably just opened myself up to receive plenty of spam e-mail.
6. I need to waste some time. I’m looking for a distraction and the survey caught my eye. I need to think for a moment before I move forward with the survey. The company must have done a nice job marketing it, because I’m now taking the time to fill the survey out. What can I learn from their presentation and approach to getting me to take the survey?
7. I like answering questions. Maybe this is more about me wanting to give my opinion about something. If it’s about getting satisfaction about poor service or a product that didn’t work, there are usually better ways to start a dialogue. Direct contact with the company is usually a better process to get resolution to my problem.
There are numerous reasons why people answer surveys. For me it comes down to timing; a company needs to catch me at the moment that I want to respond, either because my interaction with the company is fresh in my mind or the use of their product or service has created a strong positive or negative emotional response that I want to provide them with my input.
The next time you see a survey, think about why you would want to answer that survey and whether it is worth your time and effort. And remember, surveys really aren’t about you, they’re about a company wanting answers to questions or concerns they have about their own products or services and how to keep them relevant, useful, and in demand by their customers.