Browsing the Xcel Energy website recently I was accosted by one of those ubiquitous popup surveys. You know the kind: one which asks if you'll take a survey about your browsing experience.
These surveys typically have an abominable response rate, and it's not hard to see why. Should you agree to take the survey you'll be asked to answer screen:
of questions. Thirty-two questions in all, of which 25 are required.
Clearly someone didn't get the memo about survey length.
What if you happen to notice a problem with Xcel's website, maybe a broken link somewhere, and you want to be a good samaritan and point it out to them?
Good luck with that. Because if you just write a short note in the comment box about the broken link and hit "Submit," here's what you get:
So much for being helpful (this is one of the reasons why Mandatory Survey Questions are Evil). If you're not interested in rating the "balance of text and graphics" on the site, or providing no less than three different ratings of the search function, Xcel doesn't want to hear from you.
Not that it would have mattered anyway: notice the text at the very bottom of the survey, "Please note you will not receive a response from us based on your survey comments."
To the customer that means, "Nobody will read the comments you write."
Xcel might as well save the bother of putting up a survey and just have a page that says, "We don't actually want your feedback but thanks anyway." It seems like a lot less trouble.