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

Baby Steps

March 21, 2019

One of the keys to developing good data management habits is to be aware of …

Baby Steps Read More »

Success Requires Discipline

March 14, 2019

When it comes to data management, most of us know what to do; we just don’t …

Success Requires Discipline Read More »

Take a moment to be grateful

March 7, 2019

Because we’re so focused on always improving what we have now, it’s easy to overlook …

Take a moment to be grateful Read More »

KPIs and Dashboards

February 28, 2019

I saw DJ Muller from MemberClicks speak on KPIs (key performance indicators). In his session …

KPIs and Dashboards Read More »

Documenting Process is Critical

February 22, 2019

When it comes to managing data successfully, process is critical. For example, a client of …

Documenting Process is Critical Read More »

Motion vs. Action

February 14, 2019

In James Clear’s book Atomic Habits (I recommend it!), he discusses the concept of motion vs. action. …

Motion vs. Action Read More »

Are You Answering Your Calls?

February 7, 2019

I’ve written about this before, but apparently I have to keep repeating it. If you’ve …

Are You Answering Your Calls? Read More »

Who do you trust?

January 31, 2019

Who Do You Trust I was reading an article recently about Warren Buffet’s “rules” for …

Who do you trust? Read More »

Set benchmarks to measure progress

January 24, 2019

It’s impossible to measure progress if you don’t know your starting point. This sounds axiomatic, …

Set benchmarks to measure progress Read More »

You’ll make incorrect decisions. Acknowledge them and fix it.

January 17, 2019

A client of mine recently wrote the following to me: “It’s so hard to set …

You’ll make incorrect decisions. Acknowledge them and fix it. Read More »

Scroll to Top