How to Screw up the Experience Survey

How to Screw up the Experience Survey


I recently spent a day in New York City. The weather was dreary so it was a perfect day to see a Broadway matinee. Of course, no one wants to pay those Broadway prices. Down the street from the hotel, there was a theater company so I asked the in-the-know locals at the reception desk about the best way to get discount last minute tickets to a show within walking distance without standing in the rain at the kiosk in Times Square. They suggested an app.

Sure enough, I bought a ticket on the app at a substantial discount to a theater about 6 blocks away. The lead deserved his Tony nomination.

The next day I received an email asking me to do a survey about my experience and offered to enter me into a lottery for a $100 coupon if I completed it.. Imagine if sick care professionals or hospitals did that after your visit? When was the last time you got one after a drug rep or MSL or device rep visited you in your office or the OR?

Unfortunately, after entering the answer to the first question, I logged off and deleted the app. Here's why:

  1. There were too many questions.

  2. The website took too long to respond.

  3. I had to click through too many fields.

  4. I was worried that by participating I would be continually annoyed with subsequent emails.

  5. I didn't trust the site enough to know what they would do with the data or how much money they would make selling it to someone without my permission.

  6. This was a one-off experience. Since I was visiting from out of town, it is unlikely I'll be using them again in the near future. The life time value of my engagement is slim.

  7. I wasn't sure why they were asking me certain questions.

  8. The survey was boring.

  9. There wasn't anything personal about it. In this day and age of AI, that's unimaginable.

  10. They could have accomplished the same thing with a single answer net promoter score.

I must not be alone, given that the response rate to external surveys is 10-15%. Here's how to avoid all of these mistakes. Enjoy the show. Delete the survey.

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is the President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs on Twitter@ArlenMD.

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  • Gail Miller

    You won't earn money filing out surveys

  • Nathan Rees

    Ok I won't open any SURVEY

  • Charlie Brown

    There are other ways to make money online to earn passive income

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Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA

Former Contributor

Arlen Meyers, MD, MBA is a professor emeritus of otolaryngology, dentistry, and engineering at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health and President and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs at He has created several medical device and digital health companies. His primary research centers around biomedical and health innovation and entrepreneurship and life science technology commercialization. He consults for and speaks to companies, governments, colleges and universities around the world who need his expertise and contacts in the areas of bio entrepreneurship, bioscience, healthcare, healthcare IT, medical tourism -- nationally and internationally, new product development, product design, and financing new ventures. He is a former Harvard-Macy fellow and In 2010, he completed a Fulbright at Kings Business, the commercialization office of technology transfer at Kings College in London. He recently published "Building the Case for Biotechnology." "Optical Detection of Cancer", and " The Life Science Innovation Roadmap". He is also an associate editor of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology and Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship and Editor-in-Chief of Medscape. In addition, He is a faculty member at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School where he teaches Biomedical Entrepreneurship and is an iCorps participant, trainer and industry mentor. He is the Chief Medical Officer at and and Chairman of the Board at GlobalMindED at, a non-profit at risk student success network. He is honored to be named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives of 2011 and nominated in 2012 and Best Doctors 2013.

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