My computer recently broke and I received an email survey about whether they fixed it right (they didn’t) and then another survey about how they’re handling the follow-up repair. The day before I received an email survey asking about my recent car rental, and another email with invitation to give feedback about a recent hotel stay. My pastor also called asking for help in polling the church board about something. Meanwhile, I’ve been on the road for much of the last six months doing in-depth studies of certain churches. These involve focus groups, one-on-one interviews, a staff survey, and a congregational survey at each church. And our research department at Leadership Network is currently completing a survey of multi-site churches with four or more campuses, a salary and economic outlook survey, and a survey of very large churches.
The real issue shying for is how you like to be surveyed (email? mail? telephone? other?) and more importantly, what shapes your decision of whether to participate in the survey. Is it the shortness of the survey? incentive offered to complete the survey? promise of receiving a copy of the findings? relationship with the person or organization who sent you the survey? whether or not you had a very positive (or negative) experience and want to share it? amount of surveys you’ve already filled out that week?
Probably all of the above to a degree, but which of them influences you most?
Warren Bird, Ph.D., is Research Director at Leadership Network, and co-author of 19 books on various aspects of church health and innovation.