Monday, 17 August 2015

Why aren't surveys the best feedback elicitation tool?!

Although the value of surveys cannot be denied, and the stakeholders’ feedback, in general,  is so valuable in improving the service they receive; I am in the habit of volunteering very little time for filling-in surveys!!

Simply for many reasons about the survey itself:
- -          Not my business.
It is not directly contributing to my own business objectives, only indirectly through the service I receive from that service provider.

-  -        Accountability.
In all ways, the service provider is accountable to deliver the service of highest quality based on its experience with its business, not based on the experience I transfer to it.

-    -      Prioritization.
My feedback as an end user to a service provider is voluntary, not explicitly a measured output for my day work, so it is with low priority unless there is a specific reason to change that.

-   -       Time.
It is time consuming, filling the survey is a commitment, which consumes time in context switching from other day activities into opening the survey tool, and reflecting on my past experience to fill-in the answers appropriately. It is not very accurate, in reality, to measure that by the few minutes consumed in checking the radio buttons.

-   -       Fun.
it is boring; it usually lacks any fun. Especially those typical direct expected questions like “Rate your satisfaction with that specific service in the scale A-D”, “Do you think we are doing good in delivering our service A?”

What I would suggest is to vary the tools to obtain the same desired output.

For example:
-  -       Feedback can be much more diverse and innovative through focus groups.
-  -       Highest reliability can be achieved through direct interviews with staff, where the input is based on real stories.
-  -        Much more engagement can be achieved through introducing gamification into the process. 
-  -        Improving the effectiveness of a specific tool might be reached through combining two tools together, such as focus groups and targeted surveys.

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