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Come On, Man: Stop Asking Me

Come On, Man: Stop Asking Me

Everyone is sending surveys about their service these days—airlines, hotels, online venders, health clubs, pet groomers. They want to know what your opinion is.

The problem, however, is that the service seldom if ever improves. They believe that merely by asking you they are showing excellent service. They have no intentions—and often no means—of actually improving the service. On top of that, survey responders self-select: They are either very happy or very unhappy, and you don’t hear from all those people in the middle who could be positively influenced if they thought the survey would actually result in improvements.

A gubernatorial candidate here in Rhode Island called me recently asking for money. Then she asked my opinion about her priorities if elected. I said, “Unless you can persuade airlines to fly nonstop from Providence to the West Coast, you’ll never energize the economy here.”

“Right,” she said. She has no intention of following up on that even if elected (which she won’t be), but thought just by asking me she was showing how interested she was. That’s an insult to my intelligence.

But then again, my intelligence is much higher than hers, which is why I’m not running for governor.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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