Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Let Your Customers Speak for Themselves!

To add to Jim’s blog on survey- skewing, my husband and I bought a car recently. The salesman was nice enough, i.e. courteous… not too pushy… gave me some free pens. All in all, I would describe my experience as “pleasant.”

Then, something absurd happened. As I was handed the keys, I was also given the dealer’s questionnaire that was already filled out for me. Evidently, the salesman had taken the liberty of completing the survey himself (with a perfect score of course) and, unless I had any complaints, he would also take the liberty of turning it in for me.

Gee, thanks.

I’m sure most people say “OK” and leave in their shiny new car, never giving the dealer or his silly questionnaire another thought. But I’m in marketing. And I conduct surveys for clients all the time and know how valuable they can be when used properly.

For example, I’m sure the muckety-mucks at HQ would love to know why I chose to buy my car from their company as opposed to everywhere else I looked. Even more important, why am I not coming back? (Hint: It’s not entirely about the survey.) In today’s market where American carmakers are struggling to survive, this information is critical to their success. However, this company will never know, because they didn’t give me the opportunity to tell them myself.


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