Ty Burr

Tired — really tired — of customer surveys? Try this one.

TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 16: A man uses his smartphone on July 16, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan. Only 53.5% of Japanese owned smartphones in March, according to a white paper released by the Ministry of Communications on July 15, 2014. The survey of a thousand participants each from Japan, the U.S., Britain, France, South Korea and Singapore, demonstrated that Japan had the fewest rate of the six; Singapore had the highest at 93.1%, followed by South Korea at 88.7%, UK at 80%, and France at 71.6%, and U.S. at 69.6% in the U.S. On the other hand, Japan had the highest percentage of regular mobile phone owners with 28.7%. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images
You may have noticed that you are asked to take a survey after every business transaction these days, no matter how small.

Thank you for reading this column about customer surveys. Would you care to take a survey about it?

A. Yes.

B. No.

C. I said no.


D. Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape.

You may have noticed that you are asked to take a survey after every single business transaction these days, no matter how small. To what do you ascribe this marked increase in surveys, questionnaires, and quizzes?

Get The Weekender in your inbox:
The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

A. Companies eager to learn how to improve business practices and better retain customers.

B. Companies that have paid too much in consulting fees and need to see a return on investment.

C. The Internet and cellphones making it possible to annoy customers in entirely new ways.

D. Satan.

What most closely describes your feelings about surveys?


A. Minor irritation.

B. Major irritation.

C. Major Tom.

D. Fear and trembling and the sickness unto death.

When you have completed a business transaction on the phone and are immediately asked to answer a survey, your first response is to:

A. Hang up.


B. Finger-stab the phone in a fit of rage.

C. Remind yourself to never do business with the company again.

D. Answer all questions as if you are a dog.

Which of the following adjectives would you use to describe your emotions regarding the large number of surveys you are asked to respond to on any given day?

A. Exhausted.

B. Numb.

C. Philosophical.

D. Used.

E. Submissive.

F. Stoical.

G. Grimly.

Did you notice that one of those was actually an adverb?

A. Yes.

B. No.

C. Take your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape.

If you could choose only one out of the dozens of surveys you are asked to take every day, would it be:

A. The one that wants to know if your dentist office waiting-room experience was Very Good to Excellent.

B. The questionnaire from the company you’ve never bought anything from but that spams you five times a day.

C. The one that exists solely to give mid-level marketing executives an excuse to make more PowerPoint slides.

D. The brand surveys for feminine hygiene products (men only) or Rogaine (women only).

How’s this survey going for you so far?

A. Not bad.

B. I’ve already moved on to Sports.

How’s your mom?

A. Good, thanks for asking.

B. Oy, how much time do you have?

When you hear the words “Would you care to participate in a survey?” you:

A. Reach for a drink.

B. Reach for your gun.

C. Reach for the sky.

D. Reach your limit.

If you would like to be removed from future survey requests, say “Yes.”

A. This isn’t a phone survey.

B. You just said “Yes” out loud to nobody.

C. Ha ha.

Please choose your favorite survey from history:

A. The S.S. Titanic customer-feedback form.

B. The Exodus satisfaction survey.

C. Ivan the Terrible performance review.

D. The Black Plague focus group.

Please choose your favorite survey-related movie dialogue:

A. “Luke, how would you feel if I was your father?”

B. “I am most strongly in favor of having what she’s having.”

C. “Please choose which offer would you be least likely to refuse.”

D. “I coulda had A) class B) been a contender C) been somebody.”

Please choose the upcoming consumer survey to which you are most looking forward:

A. Beach house online feedback page.

B. Yelp review of that gluten-free pizza parlor.

C. Roto-Rooter response-time questionnaire.

D. The midterm elections.

Which answer most closely resembles your response to the statement “Dude, what’s your gripe? Customer surveys are simply a useful tool for improving business practices and not at all a means of collecting consumer data and/or a public image ploy that has gotten out of hand.”

A. Violently agree.

B. Somewhat violently agree.

C. Agree.

D. Almost disagree but then change my mind and agree.

How could we better meet your survey needs in the future?

A. Put them in fortune cookies.

B. Subliminally insert them into TV shows.

C. Money would be nice.

You have almost completed this survey. Describe your emotional state.

A. Joyous.

B. Spent.

C. Unamused.

D. Vermont.

Thank you for taking this survey. Do you mind if we ask you a few questions about your experience?

Ty Burr can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @tyburr.