Friday, August 13, 2010

How Can Taking Surveys Become as Addicting as Farmville?

Have you ever noticed that there are people out there who say they are just "too busy" to do something, yet you see them on Facebook spending hours on end tending to their "Farmville" account.

So what explains our apparent information and multi-tasking overload on the one hand and our simultaneous ability to scrounge together hours in the day to
play on Facebook or Farmville or Twitter or whatever your internet addiction may be.

As it turns out, interacting with our "screens" is actually addicting (as if we didn't know).  Really!  To learn more, check out the new book "24-Hour Customer" by Adrian C. Ott. In this book you'll learn how these little screens have actually changed customer behavior in a MAJOR way.  She goes on to explain that we're not just competing for dollars, we're competing for time.

Surveys USED to be Time Sucking Interruptions

You know and I know that one of the main reasons people hate doing surveys is that they perceive them as a time-wasting activity.  I can't tell you how many times I'd called on a respondent asking for 10 minutes of their time only to have them spend 15 minutes telling me how busy they are.

We need to re-frame how we look at surveys.  Vivek has already talked about using the word "listening" instead of "research" so what if we started thinking about surveys as being addicting and eagerly sought out by respondents?

Thumbspeak Changes How We Look at Surveys

Vivek has already introduced Thumbspeak as a whole new way to gather responses using the iPhone.   I'd like to start a discussion about changing how we think about surveys or collecting feedback.

Take a look at this video from a typical Thumbspeak user.  And think about the fact that a growing number of people are literally killing time with their devices.  In an interview with Dean Wiltse, CEO of Thumbspeak, Dean shared a story of a user that went to his Thumbspeak iPhone App to take a survey instead of playing a game on his iPhone while he killed time.  This user was having so much fun, that he engaged his wife in the process as well.

So what do you think?  In what ways can WE as researchers reframe and reposition surveys from a pain to a pleasure?
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