No, I will not fill out your survey.

I just got an email from a business I no longer do business with, asking me if I’d take 2-3 minutes of my time to leave feedback for them about my experience.  I used to think that it was valuable to do this and often, would take the time to give my feedback.  Until I became a business coach.

 You see, it’s standard business practice for a lot of organizations to have surveys in place to take the pulse of the environment without being inconvenient to the daily flow of the organization or the survey taker.  Alas, if you have a bad culture in your organization, this survey isn’t valuable to you in the least.  Even if you could get a disgruntled employee/customer to fill it out – it’s not like you’re going to do anything with the information to try to salvage the relationship.

I know this because if you cared about your customers/employees like you said you do, you wouldn’t need a survey to tell you how you were doing.  They’d just….tell you and others, like they’ve been doing. And you would take that information you already have and implement it. This is responsiveness.

And the lack of it: might actually be it’s own response. Often times, by the time that person gets your survey, they’ve determined speaking to you isn’t valuable because they’ve tried to do so previously and the information didn’t matter to you. It might have been uncomfortable or hotly delivered. But that too, is information to help you do better.

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