Idea in brief

Do your surveys give short-term answers but provide little long-term value? Then your firm may still be sending out stand-alone surveys. These are surveys that are disconnected from the other sources of feedback and the decisions they need to inform.

Traditional feedback processes still treat surveys, interview transcripts, reviews and informal feedback as stand-alone data sources. But forward-looking firms are taking a different approach and beginning with the required insights not the tool.

No stand alone surveys

Is your firm still sending out stand-alone surveys❓

Do your surveys give short-term answers but provide little long-term value?

Surveys are a means to an end. The purpose of a survey is to create insights that support more informed decision-making.

But I see too many firms get the process the wrong way around.

The perils of stand-alone surveys

Have you ever started a feedback gathering exercise with someone saying “we need to do a survey”? The following conversations quickly get lost in the debate and detail of what questions to ask.

Without agreement on what the survey should reveal, all questions are equally relevant. This usually results in a stand-alone survey asking lots of closed questions – because they are ‘easier to analyse’ than open questions.

As customers, we hate surveys that seem to lead us to the answers the company wants to hear. So why do these stand-alone surveys still get sent out?

The alternative is to begin with the end in mind.

Start by defining the insights that are required to both inform decision-making and track the impact of those decisions.

Then work backward to identify how best to get these insights.

Surveys are only one part of a continuous feedback loop

The result is likely to be a continuous feedback process. A connected combination of surveys, interviews and encouragement of unsolicited feedback.

So the next time someone says “we need to do a survey” say No❗️

Then ask them why. What insights are required & when to move the business forwards?

This post first appeared on LinkedIn