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“The Survey Person”…The Title You Don’t Want

Jim Tincher Jim Tincher 01/24/2023
Instead of being "The Survey Person" overloaded with tasks, focus on your strategic expertise and what matters and outsource what you can.

Change Maker. Trusted Partner. Smart Person. These are all names you want to be known by your executives.

The title you don’t want? “The Survey Person.” Yet, many CX leaders are stuck with this label. They focus so much of their time on sending, analyzing, and reporting survey results, that this is how they’re known. And that’s their perceived value: they’re the person to call when you want the latest survey results.

Who wants that title?

When we look at Change Makers – those who can prove they’re creating business impact through CX – they don’t focus on reporting on survey data. Instead, they often outsource surveys to another department (or even another company), enabling them to focus on what’s most important.

Darin Byrne’s market research organization runs their surveys. I don’t think Riccardo Porta from Dow even has a login to Qualtrics. Laurie Englert lets her corporate office worry about surveys.

There are many reasons why they separate themselves from the survey. Let’s go into them.

You Don’t Get Promoted for Your Survey Skills

The skills you need to succeed in CX differ from those needed to write or analyze a survey. Some of the top CX skills are change management, building relationships, influencing executives, and creating a compelling business case. These are very different from the market research skills required to draft a great survey and conduct the analysis. It’s a rare leader who can design a perfect survey, conduct the analysis, and influence executives to focus on customers’ greatest needs. Having someone skilled in the methodology helps ensure your questions are impartial and truly measure what you want to measure. Find somebody who has these skills – whether inside or outside the company – and have them do this work.

You Can’t Do Everything, so Focus on What Matters Most

CX rarely has enough staff to do all that’s requested of them. Change Makers focus those few staff they have on more strategic needs, such as training frontline staff or building relationships across the business. It’s tough to build a great business case and meet with all your leaders when you’re heads-down writing a survey.

You’re Strategic; Surveys are Transactional

How often are you asked to add “just one small survey question”? This conversation isn’t the best use of your time. Outsourcing the survey adds natural barriers, ensuring that those requesting a changed survey have to put effort into this request. When there are no barriers, surveys tend to bloat. Let someone else fight this battle, while you focus on more important items.

Focus On What Matters

The net-net of all this is that by allowing others with the right skills to run the survey, you can focus on what truly matters: engaging executives and front-line staff to improve the customer experience. Particularly in a downturn – where staff is harder to come by – it’s time to focus your energy and time on more visible, high-impact activities than surveys.

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