Why a Fun Survey is the Best Survey

Fun Surveys are (at least) 100 times better

Because people want to have fun – so they want to take your survey

When did you last take a survey willingly? I shop on Amazon, and after each purchase I get a pop-up and a follow-up email asking for my opinion. I never take their surveys.

Why?  Because those surveys suck. Most people would rather do dull and tedious work than take a typical survey. Because they’re boring.

Funshop makes fun surveys. Fun both ways. They measure fun, and they’re fun to take. That makes them (at least) 100 times better. Why?

Boring surveys ignore your core customers

Here’s a familiar graph – a bell curve. It plots how much fun your customers had (the bottom, or x-axis) versus the number of customers (the side, or y-axis). The shape of the curve is like a bell. Many things in life, when plotted this way, would have the same bell-like distribution:  height of men (or women, or boys), attractiveness of faces, how long your commute takes, &etc.

Typical Boring Survey Bell Curve
How a typical (boring) survey covers the customer bell curve.

The arrows pointing down show the sampling you’d get from a typical (boring) survey. The red arrows are responses from customers who took your survey because they were really unhappy with something. They needed to tell you how bad their experience was.

The green arrows are responses from customers who loved their experience, and wanted to share that with you. And the gray arrows are responses from people who just love to take surveys, no matter how boring.

The gray part of the bell curve in the middle are your core customers. Most of them got what they expected (the middle of the bell curve), and quite a few had a significantly better or worse experience. Boring surveys miss these customers, because they only get responses from the tiny fraction who love taking surveys.

Your total response from a typical survey is, at maximum, 15%. You’ll only hear from the 5% at the extremes, and the 5% who love taking surveys. And you won’t even hear from all of them. You’ll hear from about 10% of them.  That means 10% x 15% = 1.5%.

And the responses will be very, very biased. Most responses will be either love or hate. You’ll never be able to cut the bad end off the bell curve – and why waste all your efforts on the 5% of customers who hated your business? Why not focus on your core?

Why a fun survey covers the whole bell curve

Now check out the next graph:

Fun Surveys Cover the Whole Bell Curve
Fun surveys sample your entire customer base because they’re fun to take

We broke the bell curve into more sections, each showing a different customer experience. The purple arrows are the responses you can expect from a fun survey. They cover the whole bell curve. You’ll hear from a representative sample of your customers, not just the extremes.

Why? Because people love to have fun. They’ll take a fun survey willingly. And even if the survey isn’t much fun for them – we know everyone has fun in different ways – they’ll take it because they hope for fun.  And they’ll still appreciate the effort you made.

Fun surveys are great marketing – they leave a great last impression

Most surveys are offered to customers after they’ve had their experience. It’s their last impression of your business.

A large body of psychological research has explored how we remember experiences.  (I suggest reading Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow for it’s clear summaries of this research) Boiled down to the basics, we remember three things:  1) the initial condition (our first impression), 2) the peak experience (the best or worst part, whichever is greater), and 3) the final condition (our last impression). Most of the experience is not part of our memory.

In one experiment, researchers had subjects put their hands in painfully cold water. One group had to suffer for 60 seconds, and the other group suffered for 90 seconds. For the 90-second sufferers, researchers added just enough warm water to make participants feel slightly less pain for the last 30 seconds. The last 30 seconds were still painful – just a tiny bit less painful.

The researchers had the subjects do both the 60- and 90-second tests, and asked subjects to rate the two experiences.

The vast majority preferred the 90-second treatment. Even though it was 50% longer, and painful all the way through, the slightly better experience at the end was enough to make their memory of it more attractive (or less repulsive).

Now think of that survey. Do you want your customer’s last impression to be a boring survey? Or paying their bill and then being invited to take a boring survey online?

Fun surveys market your business in two important ways: they invoke fun, and they are fun.

First, our fun surveys ask your customer to remember the most fun part of their experience. Fun becomes the last thing they remember about you. They may still remember things that are less pleasant, but at least that all-important last impression is of fun.

Second, even if your customer’s best experience with your business wasn’t that great, a fun survey means that the last thing they did was fun. Fun is the best last impression you can make. And they’ll remember it.

Fun surveys lead to opportunities, not problems

Fun surveys measure fun. Unlike positive states of being such as happiness, satisfaction, comfort, and contentment, fun is an action. Sometimes ‘fun’ is used to describe a state – she’s a fun person, or this restaurant is fun – but what we really mean is that fun happens when she is around, or when we go to that restaurant.  Fun is a verb.

That’s why measuring fun is different, and more effective. A fun survey defines what your customers are doing that brings them back. And that’s the memory you want to create. We remember having fun, not being happy, or contented. Try it. Remember a time when you were happy – we’ll bet that what you picture in your mind is having fun, and that fun was what made you happy.

Focusing on creating fun guides you to new creative opportunities. Rather than stooping to the bottom to deal with the problems, fun is about starting at the top and climbing higher. People come back to your business because of what you do best – not what you fail to do worst.

And it’s surprising how many businesses don’t know what they do best. Is it the food? or the service? The price? or the quality? Or is it something you’d never thought of?

The motto of a business I once worked for is, “Everything Matters.” The business is a children’s hospital, so I’m sure that motto is reassuring to worried parents of sick children. But does everything matter? Is the decor critical? The quality of the cafeteria food? Does trying to solve every problem lift the whole enterprise higher, or does it suck all the oxygen out of moving forward and innovation?

Fun matters, because fun is what you’re doing right. Fun guides you to why people love you, and invites you to do more of it. Be a problem solver, and all you’ll do is deal with problems. Have fun, and you will create.

Of course, fun surveys also find out where it’s no fun. In fact, measuring fun is an incredibly potent method for finding serious problems, even problems no one is willing to talk about. If you ask what’s the most fun, and no one points in a particular direction, in that direction lies a problem. People have fun in many different ways, so if none of them think something is fun, it’s no fun. If fun work is your best work, what is work that’s no fun? Measuring fun leads you forward, and can also tell you what’s holding you back.

Just caring about fun is huge

People really care about fun. What do you spend your money on after you’ve paid the bills? We believe your business must care about fun.

Just showing you care about your customer’s (or employee’s) fun is huge. It shows you care about one of the most desirable things in life. If you say it, and mean it, and show that you’re trying, it will make a difference. A tangible, bottom-line difference.

Try it. Tell your customers that you care about their fun, and do something you think will make your business more fun for them. Even if it doesn’t work, your profit (or however else you measure your success) will be greater. Just showing that you care about fun will increase your productivity.

> 100 times better

Fun surveys get more responses. The responses are less biased.

Fun surveys are great marketing. They focus your customers on the best part of their experience, and leave one as a last impression.

Fun surveys identify opportunities, the part of your business that brings in the customers. Fun surveys guide you in building up, not drilling down – though they tell you where to drill if you need to.

And fun surveys show you care about fun. Your customer cares, your employees do too – shouldn’t you?

Let’s be conservative. Our surveys get responses from more than 50% of people offered one. Most surveys get less than 5%, unless they’re mandatory or offer a direct reward. Let’s call that 10 times better. Our surveys are less biased, so call it 20 times better.

Most surveys have zero marketing value (or even a negative value). That means a fun survey is infinitely better. But let’s just say 10 times better.

We’re already at 20 x 10 = 200 times better.

Try one.  It’s fun.