This is What a McKinsey Survey Looks Like
Ever wonder what you get if you hire a fancy schmancy consulting firm for your survey research and marketing insights, instead of Versta Research? Every once in a while we have a potential client who insists: “Give us IBM! Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM.”
I got a view into what those surveys look like last week. A vendor told me they hired McKinsey and that I would be getting a survey from them about the services we buy. (Of course my first thought was, “You have money to spend on McKinsey? I must be paying you too much.”) I agreed to take the survey, and indeed it soon arrived in my inbox.
Here is the first question:
My reaction: Forget it. I’m not rank ordering 11 items. That is asking too much of a respondent. I almost quit, but I then realized how truly bad this survey is (giving me a “teachable moment”) so I decided to keep going. Typos. Punctuation errors. Poor grammar. Consultant-speak gobbledygook. I have no idea what many of these phrases mean. Here are some of my favorites:
Product is intuitively to use
Successful reference implementation
Closed loop feedback process
Possibility to tailor workflows to customers specifics
flexibility / variability of outputs
For respondents who do not quit on the first question, here’s what comes next:
They want me to “score the players” (I don’t know what that means). There are five “players,” and it is unclear whether I am supposed to rank them (1st best, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th worst) or rate them on a scale of 1 to five. Three of the players I never heard of, but there is no “don’t know” option. Plus, they want me to do it for each player and each statement from the previous question, which means I have 55 tasks to do! No way, I’m not doing that.
Here is the next question:
If you have any idea what I am supposed to do here, please tell me! (And I love that these products are “brand solutions,” not survey tools.)
No, I’m not taking this survey. Nobody should take this survey. This is what you get when you hire a fancy schmancy consulting firm for your survey research.
—Joe Hopper, Ph.D.