10 Things I Hate About You, by Mr. R. E. Spondent
We wonder why participation rates in research are plummeting? Here are 10 reasons to consider.
Editor’s Note: Angry MR Client is back, this time speaking on behalf of her friend Mr. R. E, Spondent. More hard truths that we need to hear more often.
By Angry MR Client
1. You don’t understand me
You talk about me like I’m a load of stats. Yes, I am a 20-30 year old guy. Yes, I live in the city. Yes, I am single and no, I don’t floss every day. But I am much more than that. To minimize my existence to four or five things is not only upsetting, but also not true. What’s even more annoying is that you don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
2. You give me weird names
I’m a young professional with a degree in engineering. I love Belgian beer and have a dog named Bandit. And I’m moving houses next month. Respondent? Digi-sumer? Aren’t those Tom Cruise films? Maybe you could call me Andy, or Participant, or even a Person. Thank you.
3. You forget about me
I know you’re really busy with your meetings and your emails and all the other things busy people do. But this is no excuse for you to not ask me what I think about your new idea. Don’t get me wrong, I do respect your “gut feeling” but sometimes I don’t even know what I want myself, so it would be quite difficult for anyone else to read my mind. At times I feel like I’d have to dye my hair purple and dance around your office in a tutu, playing the Finnish national anthem on an accordion, for you to remember I exist.
4. You bore me
You want me to answer this? 8 times???
5. You ask me things I can’t remember
No. I can’t remember the last time I ordered sushi.
6. You don’t care about me
You ask me all these questions about who I am (didn’t I already tell you I don’t have any kids?) and what I do, and how often I do this, or when was the last time I did that. And then you tell me I “don’t qualify for this survey”. Is this the Olympics?
7. You lie to me
You said this survey will only take 15 minutes, but here I am, 25 minutes later still answering your questions, and by the look of it, I’m only two thirds through. I am tempted to report your email as spam next time you contact me.
8. You speak a different language
When you try to quote me, you make me sound all grown up, or like my sister, or like a teenager. Or even worse, you make me sound like you. Why won’t you let me sound like me? You not only change my words, but you also speak in a way I don’t quite understand. I have no idea what an “integrated compacting system“ is, but I will nod along so you don’t think I’m stupid.
9. You don’t give back
So I’ve given you this amazing idea about how to improve your product. I mean, I could have done all these other things, like play Angry Birds or go get some ice cream and watch Dexter. But hey, I thought you could really use some help with your product so I gave you 20 full minutes of my life to help you out. But now it feels like all my ideas went into an Intergalactic Black Hole, since you never told me what happened to all my suggestions. Is it too much to ask for you to let me know what you did with my ideas?
10. You think I’m a robot
Let me tell you a dirty little secret: I don’t always care about all your technical details and fancy features. Sometimes, I buy things just because they look cool. Or because my friend has them. Or because I couldn’t find your product and I can’t be bothered to go to another store. I don’t always buy the cheapest or the best product. I may be black or white, but I am definitely not black and white. Sometimes I say things I don’t mean and I do things I won’t admit to have done. I’m only human. Sorry!
*All product categories have been made up, to protect identities
Disclaimer: I believe that clients are as responsible as agencies to take care of research participants. It’s neither easy, nor comfortable. It takes a lot of explaining and pushing back. But I’m 100% convinced it will ultimately help us get better, sharper insights – Angry