Lately, it feels like I’m being bombarded with survey requests. Or maybe I just have surveys on the brain (this month we’ve published articles on survey fatigue, crafting survey intros and the U.S. Census, just to name a few).

Either way, the other night I started making a list of recent requests:

My list doesn’t include the many other surveys found at the bottom of receipts or in e-mails I never opened.

Can you guess how many I’ve completed? None. That’s right, even though I’m more aware than the average consumer of how important customer feedback can be, I haven’t taken the time to respond. But why? Am I really being bombarded by consumer surveys? Could this be due to my status as a Millennial – the “What’s in it for me?” generation?

In an article published in Quirk’s July e-newsletter, “Response rates: Part I: Looking at cost-benefit decisions” the author David Ensing discusses how consumers make cost-benefit decisions when asked to take a survey. Here’s a brief excerpt from the post:

“At first glance, one might think that there is no cost to the customer to respond. However, costs have been increasing over the past few decades:

… To increase response rates, researchers should look at both sides of the customer cost/benefit equation by seeking to decrease the cost to the customer and increase the benefits of participation.”

After re-reading Ensing’s article I considered this cost-benefit decision process in terms of my last Dairy Queen visit. Dairy Queen's chocolate extreme blizzard is one of my weaknesses, which I choose to indulge in every few weeks on my lunch break. The employee at the drive-through window always points out the survey at the bottom of the receipt. If I complete it I get a free dilly bar. Great incentive, right? Not really. The only item I ever order is a chocolate extreme blizzard and I’m not a big fan of dilly bars. The benefit (dilly bar) doesn’t out...