Don’t ask questions for which you already know the answer

Don't ask questions for which you already know the answer

I was recently completing an online form to submit a proposal for speaking at a conference. I had to log in to the system for it to recognize me (which it did). One of the first questions it asked me was "Have you ever spoken at this conference before?"

So the system knows who I am, but it doesn't know if I've ever spoken at this conference before? (I have.) Why are they asking me things they should already know?

And this is my message to you: Don't ask questions that will make your members or customers say "Wait, you should know that already!" Because every time you do that, you are telling them, "You're not important enough for me to bother working on getting this information. I'll just ask you for it because that's easier for me." (And as an aside, the customer may not know the answer, or may give an incorrect answer, in which case the data is useless anyway!)

I know how difficult it can be to integrate disparate systems or reference data from past events. But if that question is truly important to you, do the work beforehand or afterward. Don't make the customer do the work for you!

Wes's Wednesday Wisdom Archives

“If you keep doin’ what you’re doin’, you’ll keep gettin’ what you’re gettin’.”

June 5, 2024

“If you keep doin’ what you’re doin’, you’ll keep gettin’ what you’re gettin’.” I saw […]

Rather than adding something new, try subtracting

May 29, 2024

Rather than adding something new, try subtracting I read recently that sociological research suggests, when presented […]

It’s always people, process, and technology

May 22, 2024

It’s always people, process, and technology I speak and write a lot about people, process, […]

Once it’s lost, trust can be difficult to regain

May 15, 2024

Once it’s lost, trust can be difficult to regain I recall hearing once long ago […]

Share your successes!

May 8, 2024

Share your successes! I was speaking at an association meeting recently and one of the points […]

What are YOUR data integrity reports?

May 1, 2024

What are YOUR data integrity reports? Sitting in an AMS demo with a client recently, […]

You might have to do SOME of the work yourself!

April 24, 2024

You might have to do SOME of the work yourself! Many, many years ago I […]

Don’t manage to the exception!

April 17, 2024

Don’t manage to the exception! One of the universal truths about data management is, wherever possible, […]

It’s always about improvement

April 10, 2024

It’s always about improvement Talking with a client recently, she expressed frustration about one particular project […]

Don’t be a hoarder!

April 3, 2024

Don’t be a hoarder! The simple truth is that it’s almost “free” to collect data. […]

Scroll to Top