The perfect survey question (I found it depressing) – SCN Encourager

Survey experts know the importance of asking the right questions.

They also know most survey respondents (good decent folks like us) don’t make their jobs easy.

While survey experts typically want to probe our feelings – to better understand the emotions behind our decisions – the good decent survey respondents like us typically give answers intended to make us sound totally rational and knowledgeable.

It’s quite a dance when you think about it.

There’s no doubt we all make decisions with our emotions first and then use reason and facts to back them up.

We just don’t want to admit it.

So, the survey experts will use a variety of questions designed to provoke meaningful emotional responses.

Here’s one of their favorite ploys.

They will ask a question like, “tell me, what would you miss most if… [this product, this menu item, this park, etc.] was no longer available to you?”

They realize getting people to express what they “would miss” demands a deeper level emotional response than the standard, “please rank… [this product, this menu item, this park, etc.] on a scale of 1 to 5.”

Going around asking people about what they “would miss” about something shouldn’t be done by amateurs, however.

For example, I asked Cindy what she would miss most if I wasn’t around.

I also asked one of our daughters what she would miss most if she didn’t come home to Holland for Thanksgiving instead of going to Denver with a few friends as she has planned.

I then asked a few readers of the Encourager what they would miss most if I stopped writing and sending out my daily emails.

And yikes!

I must not be a very good survey taker.

No matter who I ask that highly recommended “what would you miss?” question to …

I keep receiving the same sad answer.



Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.