Doing is better than talking

So many organisations use surveys to establish what they believe customers and stakeholders think about them. You have most likely experienced airlines sending you e-mails requesting feedback on recent flights. After surgery to remove cancer from my shoulder the operating surgeon sent me a survey. My initial thought was: “I’m alive, aren’t I? What else do you need to know?”

I’m not sure that surveys give organisations the truth they are seeking. For example: an electronics manufacturer ran a series of focus groups to elicit feedback on a new $100 electronic gadget. People were asked to answer questions and provide opinions. Apparently, all of the responses were very positive and gave the electronics company much satisfaction. The problem was that at the conclusion of each focus group, the facilitator announced: “Thanks for coming. As our gift to you, you can have your choice of the device or $25.”

Nearly everyone opted for the $25 cash.

The bottom line is: The best part of show & tell has never been the telling part.