The Return to Old-School

The resurgence of a minimalist aesthetic-a rustic and simple style is evident in the midst of the complex modern digital age. A clear evidence of this is the revival of analog photography, ranging from the likes of film cameras to wet plate tintype photography.

The allure of the minimal and traditional has led to much speculation. Some have posited that this is due to the revival of a cultural trend due to the cyclical nature of trends alongside the influence of celebrities and influencers; whereas others have also pointed towards nostalgia- a product of widespread technology fatigue, caused by the daily consumption of technology and media, that people wish to return to an older era where these did not exist.

Similarly, a similar trend can be seen when it comes to surveys.

Surveys are an extremely popular manner of utilising technology to connect with clients, but this has also led to Survey Fatigue, which comes in two forms:

(1) Pre-Survey Response Fatigue — Respondents can become overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of requests for feedback, and might ignore the survey altogether.

(2) Survey Response Fatigue — If a survey is poorly designed, such as including too many questions, a high proportion of open text fields or asking the same question repeatedly. As a result, respondents can drop out midway through or lose interest and speed through, giving you inaccurate data.

Here, our focus will be on the former— (1) Pre-Survey Response Fatigue. To deal with this situation, we should focus on the purpose of surveys: connecting with the audience. By heeding the example of analog photography, organisations need to rethink the way they engage with their audience, more specifically returning to face-to-face engagement.

The idea of physical, face-to-face interaction is even more pertinent in light of the recent protracted global lockdown at the hands of the global Covid19 pandemic, where telecommunication has experienced an unprecedented uptake, people are more digitally drained than ever.

Furthermore, it is common knowledge that face-to-face interactions are preferred over online ones. As research has shown that people tend to be happier after face-to-face interactions, as compared to online ones. In particular, the connections formed during physical interactions are typically more personal, and betters lends itself to building stronger relationships due to the additional feelings of closeness.

As such, this would be an opportune moment to revisit the way we engage our clients, perhaps it is time to move away from the online surveys and return to old school—set up face-to-face meetings once again.

Nonetheless, changing the mode of outreach will not guarantee that the dialogue exchanges will be any more effective or productive. Here is a way to achieve a Real® Conversation—our framework that encourages authentic exchange that is truly informative.

Having a Real® Conversation:

This chart depicts the 4 over-arching competencies needed to engage in productive conversation, or more simply—having a REAL® Conversation will involve these 4 steps:

What other ways can you think of to create and sustain engaging conversations with your clients?

Find out more about Real® Conversations by contacting us at Also, remember to check out more of our articles below!

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