To Survey Or Not To Survey

The Geeksultant's picture

Recently I've been inundated by requests from a plethora of companies, customers vendors and VARs. Some, highly technical in nature. At some point, you have to take a step back and ask yourself that all important question, "What do they really want this info for, and what am I giving away for free?" You may think what I have just said sounds petty in nature, but hear me out.

My favorite line to tell my customers and partners is, "My knowledge I give freely, but my time will need to be compensated." Take that statement in for just a moment.

Think about it. How many years or even decades has it taken you to become the SME - Subject Matter Expert in your field? How much time have you expended discovering, studying, learning, testing, etc?

Should someone requesting your knowledge not pay for your time in transferring it to them?

Case in point, surveys. Even the most simple surveys that vendors often send out, gives them knowledge about you and your business. How much do you really want that entity to know about you?

Often questions around how many customers do you have? How often do you sell this software, this hardware, this service to your customers? Which vendors do you purchase from? Etc, etc, etc.

Questions are often structured in tiers such as 1 to 10, 10 - 100, 100-1000, 1000+ and so no. Seems pretty simple, nondescript and safe to answer. But is it?

After the requesting party receives your data, what do they actually do with it? Is it really for that purpose of creating that annual "Partner Satisfaction Survey Report", or will your data be sold or used in some other fashion? Maybe to size up your business and make decisions what level of service you will receive from the collecting party, or maybe what level of interest rates for floor planning you'll have to pay. Could it help you? Sure, but maybe it will also hurt you and your business.

My advice? Be wary of surveys and if you do decide to take them, read the fine print and read all of it.

As always, for all of your I.T. and virtualization needs, don't forget, "Geeksultant, Your I.T. Consultant of Choice"

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