questionThank you for regularly sending me your life-changing, time-consuming list of mostly irrelevant questions. I know when creating these questionnaires you are probably paid by the hour. Nothing else logically explains their length or banality. Thank you also for including the bar chart that informs me of what percentage of the questionnaire I have completed. This helps me determine when to just quit. Sometimes I quit when I hit a stupid question.

I think American companies write better surveys than Canadian companies. They are shorter. One company I deal with regularly regularly sends out a questionnaire which I always answer. Well, almost always. The questionnaire is three questions long. They basically ask if my issue was resolved to my satisfaction, if the representative was knowledgeable/helpful and if would I recommend them to others.

Here is a trade secret: Unless you rate the representative as a 10, it is considered a failure. A 9 isn’t  good enough. Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times” come to mind.

The relevance of the question, “Would you recommend them to others” is very dependant on the category. Internet services and their ability to deliver tech support is important. Brain surgeons may fall into the relevance category with the caveat that the success of the brain surgery could very much influence the response. The last gas station where you filled up with gas is an irrelevant question not the least of which is that no one will ask you where you last filled up unless they’re looking for the closest gas station which should be an entirely different question. “Which is more important you; the price of gas/litre or the proximity of the gas staton?” It’s a pricing question.

Some questionnaires are interesting but depending on the paint colour, so is watching paint dry. (Red can be quite dramatic).

But most questions are transparent, meaningless and a waste of time. But rather than just complain, I have a proposition: I will create a relevant three question questionnaire for $1,000.

For every additional question, I will DEDUCT $50. Needless to say, we will have lively discussions on necessary questions. And just so that I don’t end up owing you money, we quit at thirteen questions. That leaves me with $500 and you with a questionnaire that is too long.

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