Survey response -- what worked for me

Subject: Survey response -- what worked for me
From: Richard G Harris <rgh -at- WORLD -dot- STD -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 1996 08:57:58 -0400

Several months ago, I posted a message mentioning a survey I sent to our
service engineers. The survey got a 78% response. My boss shot down
sharing the specifics of the results.

I've been thinking about why I got such a response. Some recent postings
about this subject helped me realize why.

I believe the key is that my audience was convinced their responses really
would affect the communication we produced -- and they did. Granted, my
audience had more reason than most to expect this.

Some posts have suggested postage-free responses are important, or that
one-dollar bills might get a response. Those might help. But if I really
believed my respone might really be considered, that would be far more
important to me (I've kept several dollar bills without responding).

I remember reading about a book called "Soul of a New Machine",
which talked about the development of a new computer at Data General. (I
didn't read the book -- just the review). The review mentioned that the
author of the book inquired why the designers worked some incredibly long
days. The answer was "Because if we do it well, we'll get to do it again!".

Thinking back over my own career, I realized that the times I put in the
most effort were when I thought they would make a difference. Isn't this
the real key?

Dick Harris
rgh -at- world -dot- std -dot- com

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