As any home handyman (or handywoman) who frequents Home Depot probably has experienced, the receipt you receive can be quite disproportionate to the actual purchase. Why is my receipt always 2 feet long even for only a handful of items? Their satisfaction survey, of course.

I first received one of these survey requests probably years ago. At the time, I thought, “Great, take a survey and maybe win something!” Then I went again and got another request. And another. And…

How many times will someone take time to go online and fill out that survey?Anyone who has knows it isn’t necessarily a short survey either.I didn’t fill one out for a long period until I had a particularly bad experience recently.

I imagine most people who get online to take the survey only do so when they have a particularly good or bad experience (the same things could be said about customer comment cards located at checkouts). That may be all Home Depot is after, but considering how many upset customers never tell the company (and only their friends), it seems they’re still probably missing valuable feedback.

A better bet? Proactively survey a random sample of customers, instead of hoping they will take the time to contact you. This would produce stronger results that capture the good, bad and the indifferent. A true measure of overall satisfaction could then be developed.