Can Kathmandu do mad? Yes they Kan-mad-du.
For years retailers have been engaging in the annoying practice of asking customers to fill in a meaningless surveys to rate their performance. They are meaningless because the respondents are not a genuine random sample, the questions asked are often ambiguous and sometimes downright leading in the responses they are trying to elicit, and because the results of the survey probably just end up in some inscrutable graph in a PowerPoint presentation of a middle manager in the quarterly sales meeting.
On Friday I experienced a new extremity of survey madness when I made a purchase at Kathmandu. When I went to pay for the purchase with a credit card, the staff member asked me to key in ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to answer the question on the screen which was something like “Did you find us upbeat and friendly today?” Yeah, so asking customers to answer that while the staff member watches on is going to elicit reliable data. Not.
The December quarter saw a 37.4% improvement in upbeatedness!
There are many reasons why I have a personal philosophy of refusing to take part in online surveys. One of the reasons is because of the ridiculous questions they ask. For example:
“How would you rate the location of this property?”
The criteria that each person would use in answering this question would be so different that one person’s answer is quite meaningless to another. An out of town contractor stays at a motel next door to a sewerage treatment plant that he his working on. Location of this property? Excellent!
Today’s poll …
Do you think that participating in an online survey is a meaningful thing to do?
Further proof that the world has gone survey mad. My ISP was recently bought out by another ISP, and in the process the spelling of my surname got messed up. I let the new ISP know of the error, and after fixing a one character typo, I’m asked to complete a survey to rate the quality of service!
[This content was originally posted to Google Buzz, #178]