Saw an interesting sign in front of Home Depot on my way to work this morning - HD was inviting people to take a survey and one lucky participant is going to win a $5,000 dollar HD shopping spree.
Now, the first thing that struck me was how stupid surveys are and why was Home Depot doing this? Are they that out of touch with their customers? Think about what this took to sell the idea to management, get funding, execute the project, and then put signs up out in front of their stores.
The second thing that struck me was that they have invited non-customers to tell them what they think of home depot - again, the advertisement was underneath their huge HD logo/sign along the road in front of the store - and these non-customers now have a chance to win $5k. If they have to do this, why not just give customers a little card or something at the checkout, asking them to participate...
Perhaps the survey was to find out about the general shopping patterns of consumers. Perhaps the store is struggling and it is a way for them to find out why people are driving past the store, who knows. I went on to Home Depot.com and couldn't find a link to the survey so I didn't get to see what kind of questions they're asking. Maybe it is just this local store running the survey - there is a Lowes about 5 minutes away...
I've been inside both a Home Depot and a Lowes, and, to me, they're identical. I bet it if you blindfolded 100 people and put them in either of the stores, 60% or 70% couldn't tell you which one they were in (much less care). I know, there are some people who love hardware stores almost as much as I love book stores and they would know right away... that isn't the point.
My point is, don't companies resort to surveys like this only when sales are down? Is anyone ever really surprised by survey results? Isn't a survery just going to tell the company that consumers haven't been given a good enough reason to care about them?
What do you think? Are customer surveys like this worthwhile?