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May-20-2013 22:31printcomments

Questionnaires: Lack of Feedback Lambasted

Would consumer feedback be costly? Not necessarily.


(SALEM) - There's a huge Question Mark lurking around the question of questionnaires. By golly, I perceive some inherent folly.

Very frequently, after a class or special event, its sponsors issue us a questionnaire. They seek out our feedback as a sort of quality control over their undertaking. They demand to know how it rated in terms of audience satisfaction. But there's usually a glitch in that feedback mechanism.

Every audience member has the right to also know the results of that survey. We seek to find out just what the Big Picture is from all of us consumers out there. We want know fancy statistical language like the mean and the median, but an overview of the same synopsis that the surveying group wants to know.

In plain language, if you seek information from us but fail to share those results, we are being exploited.

To my frame of mind, that borders on the unethical.

If we get to see the questionnaire composite picture, perhaps that can lead to further suggestions for modest or major improvements. The sponsors may have a vested interest in preserving the status quo. We the audience may actually be more objective.

Would consumer feedback be costly? Not necessarily. Sending out the survey summary using paper and the mail would run up expenses, but we are now in the Internet Age. That permits the posting of survey results on the organization's website for the public at large.

Yes, progress comes in small steps, in tiny increments. Given that added boost of feedback to those who filled out that questionnaire makes for a healthier climate. Let us never mistake stagnation for security!


NOTE: Lee Coyne was influenced early on by Walter Lippman's landmark book on the first public polls for presidential elections, Dewey vs. Truman in 1948. He has welcomed upgrades ever since, and invites your comments at

B. Lee Coyne, a NYC native, blends three careers: Journalist, Counselor, Educator. His writings have appeared in newspapers and magazines on the East and West Coasts and the Southwest. He loves the art of the interview and has covered such persons as Dr. King's 1963 "Dream" speech and Sen. William

Proxmire as an advocate for the environment. A global traveller to some 30 countries aboard, he speaks Spanish semi-fluently and very rudimentary Russian, Tagalog, German, Arabic and Hebrew.

Lee's legacy here in Salem includes launching the Salem Peace Mosaic at the YMCA and doing a radio talk show for KMUZ/88.5 FM. It airs Mondays and highlights lives of proactive, productive senior citizens. He invites you to contact him at:

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