Seattle-Based Play My Survey Makes Survey Taking Fun

July 29, 2012

12:00 pm

How many times have you been asked to fill out a customer survey at the conclusion of some user experience?  Wait, let me guess – a lot.  It’s as common as it is tedious.  Playing twenty questions takes time from your day, and quite frankly, nothing is more valuable than your time.  But as a small business owner, nothing is more valuable than your customer’s opinions.  Something has to give.

Enter Play My Survey.

In an effort to make survey taking fun, a pair of Alaskan Air colleagues, Bhanu Mullapudi and Derek Harn, worked together to create this new survey creation service.  The Seattle-based startup is hoping to improve the user experience while increasing the quantity of information for companies to evaluate in the process.  We caught up with Harn to learn more about what the future holds for his business.

Tech Cocktail:  What was the inspiration behind Play My Survey?

Derek Harn:  Play My Survey was a thought that I had at 5am in the morning (I feel like those half awake moments are the best times for coming up with ideas). My job had recently asked us to take a long, drawn out survey, and I had this flash of the game show Family Feud. I started thinking about how I could make that boring survey into a game.

I knew I wouldn’t be able to hire Richard Dawson to ask me those questions, but I wanted his energy and enthusiasm, along with his passionate greetings to make that survey better.

I brought the idea up to Bhanu that same day, and he was really interested in it. Bhanu and I have always had the same entrepreneurial frame of mind. We decided to dig in and see what’s out there and we came up with nothing. Neither of us are gamers really, but we knew we could make the experience more fun. We started learning as much as we could about surveys and gaming. We asked people around us what they thought of the idea while we built an MVP. We’re still doing that now.

Tech Cocktail:  Has Play My Survey demonstrated better engagement figures compared to industry standards?

Play My Survey co-founder Derek Harn

Harn:  We are in the process of validating that ourselves now. We recently ran across some data from another company that has already fully validated the idea that games would keep people more interested in answering questions. That was a great find.

The Tech Cocktail event in Seattle has been the most rewarding experience for us thus far in terms of validation, because we got to talk to so many people and watch them try out our platform. Before that, we had only been able to watch a few people here and there. I used to play and tour in bands, and the Tech Cocktail event made me feel like I was back on stage again. It was a rush. I look forward to more Tech Cocktail events in the future.

Tech Cocktail:  Where does the future hold for Play My Survey?

Harn:  We have obviously just cracked the lid on this. We will continue to iterate, validate, and learn. We are looking at a few areas that our platform might work well with, including education. Creating new games and making our current games better is high on our lis,t and somewhere in there we are going to have to peel the lid all the way off and launch it.. Who knows, maybe we’ll get to host a game show at some point and lots of girls will want kiss us.

Looking to improve your customer survey user experience?  Head on over to Play My Survey and create a fun survey today.  

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When Zach Davis isn’t getting lost in the mountains, he is hustling from Boulder, CO as Tech Cocktail’s Director of Marketing. He is the author of Appalachian Trials, a book chronicling the mindset necessary for thru-hiking all 2,181 miles of the Appalachian Trail, a feat he accomplished in 2011. Zach is a green tea enthusiast, die-hard Chicago sports fan, and avid concert-goer. Follow Zach on Twitter: @zrdavis.

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