A local chapter of the American Marketing Association recently attempted to collect data about its members. As marketers, we should model the best practices related to collecting data and responding to customer's complaints. In this instance, though, the local chapter neglected to model properly best practices.
Survey websites allow the survey writer to require questions to be mandatory. That is, the respondent must fill in a box before proceeding with the survey. This requirement ensures that the respondent does not skip a question. It also alleviates the issue of what to do with missing data (Note: Students from MKTG3850 still do not know the importance of listwise, casewise, and imputation).
Also, if using the required question box, then the survey writer must include a box such as "not applicable" for a categorical question.
Furthermore, a survey should be pretested prior to deployment, or launch, to ensure such errors do not exist.
Finally, if a respondent points out these errors, then the survey writer should correct these errors before sending a reminder to customers who did not respond t the survey.
As shown in the picture below, taken as a screen grab, a local chapter of the American Marketing Association neglected to follow any of these steps. The screen grab occurred after the survey sponsor was notified of these issues. The resulting notification was promptly ignored before sending a reminder including a link to the offending survey.
On some occasions, we can teach a lesson by modeling inappropriate behavior or incorrect action. This survey should not be one of those occasions.