Surveys Stalk You Everywhere
Five years ago there were too many surveys, and today there are WAY too many surveys. They’ve taken over management functions and customer service departments. Have a complaint? Forget calling customer service (and good luck finding them). The best way get your complaint addressed is to give a low survey score, and, pronto, somebody contacts you to find out why.
Well, all these surveys are themselves likely to become a source of customer dissatisfaction. Consider this perspective from Tyler Brûlé in his weekly Financial Times column:
Up the escalator and across the concourse, bags dropped off, you go through security and wander into the lounge. Settling into a quiet corner, you start to pull out a few things you’ll need pre-departure. You check your emails and notice the hotel has sent you a note. Oh dear. What did you forget? You scan the opening sentence and realise you didn’t forget anything. It’s an automated note sent out by a third party on behalf of the hotel asking you to take part in a survey. As you’re not a fan of box-ticking at the best of times, this note strikes you as rather irksome. You saw most of the management less than an hour ago and had an exchange about the stay. What wasn’t clear? You stay at the hotel 14 times a year, so surely they’re doing something right. How strange that they’re asking, in a most impersonal way, to give them grades on their performance. Oh well.
Two days later you’re back in the office and working on your diary. As you listen to your PA run through flight options, you scan your inbox and notice the hotel has sent you another email. Another survey? Surely not. It’s far worse. It’s a reminder to fill in the survey it sent less than an hour after you checked out.
Who thought it was a good idea to chase after busy guests and ask them for large chunks of time after they’ve spent considerable money with your hotel? How odd that a hotel should spend so much money to tell the world how premium it is then let it all unravel with a pair of emails.
I doubt I ever stay at hotels as nice as Mr. Brûlé visits, but I share his irritation of being hounded for survey feedback by every sandwich shop, airline, cell phone center, and website I visit. How odd that “customer centricity” has taken this turn. Maybe “customer centric” should mean not inundating your customers with requests to provide data for YOUR metrics and performance goals.