I admit it, I enjoy completing online surveys (yeah I’m probably a nerd or lonesome or something). It’s always fun seeing how different companies ask questions and seeing how many times my situation isn’t addressed in the potential answers section. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t engage with random surveys that appear in my inbox, but if the survey is related to a recent experience with a business and I feel that I have an opinion (either positive or negative) then I will usually complete the survey.
So what drove this blog post? I just completed a survey related to an engagement with a customer service representative from my credit card and one of the last survey questions caught my attention. It asked something along the lines of “Would you recommend [the company name] to your family and friends?”
Did you notice the huge miss in that question? Hint: Replace the word “Would” at the start of the sentence with either “Do” or “Did” and see what happens to the question. Now think about how I (and many other people before me) might have answered the original question; answers such as “maybe”, “definitely” etc. were the possible answer options.
Replace the word “Would” at the start of the sentence with either “Do” or “Did” and then think about the answer selection that I (and many other people before me) might have chosen in that instance. Notice the difference in the data that you are gathering – “would” yields data that tells you what might potentially happen sometime in the future (or not, as the case may be) whereas “Do” and “Did” yield data that tell you what is or has happened in the environment.
The point of the exercise: you might be asking questions and getting answers but is the data telling you want is actually happening in the environment? Try changing your questions and see how the data changes.