I sent out a plea for help yesterday to all my BFFs. I asked that you fill out a very short survey to help me in an upcoming speech. (BTW, if you haven't done that and it's still before Oct 31, 2011 you can still help! Click this link and take the survey. It's about 3 minutes.)
I also received a lot of emails about people's feelings about the topic of my survey. Thank you very much! But then I received one survey from BFF Bud Hughes complaining of insincere, unnecessary surveys. Here's what Bud had to say:
Seriously, I know you just sent me a survey, and I completed it, but EVERY hotel, airline, rent car, credit card, phone call to AT&T Verizon, Energy provider, Cable company, virtually any service I use nowadays is sending me follow up surveys.
I mean, come on Hampton Inn, it was just a bed and a shower and a little bottle of shampoo. Leave me alone already. And, are you really listening to my comments?
And then if you don’t fill it out they pester you about it.
Symbolism over substance, I say….
Send me out a 1 question survey. “Bud, was it what you expected”. If not, then send a follow up to get more info.
C.K. (Bud) Hughes
Travis Body & Trailer, Inc.
Any comments? How do YOU feel about what Bud's talking about?
I think surveys are good. How is a company going to get feedback if it does not ask for it?
The point where I would agree is if the SAME company is sending him surveys to fill out over and over again. For example, the same hotel sending you surveys more than once a month for multiple visits.
Great comments by everyone. I am a partner in a company that specializes in Customer surveys. A key point Bud makes is: “And, are you really listening to my comments?” Too many companies do surveys and forget to close the loop. Letting customers know you have listened and are doing something with the info, is just as important as gathering the info, its actually more important.
To the points brought up by Chris and Mike. Too many businesses think that having access to the tools makes them an expert. Survey tools are a dime a dozen and most are free, these tools don’t make you an expert at administering surveys. Just like most of us also own a hammer, but few of us would venture to build our own house with it.
The pros in the industry use multiple tools to ensure proper frequency to avoid any respondent fatigue and ensure the best possible response rates. Without a good response rate your survey has limited use.
Poorly administered customer surveys can actually be very detrimental to your brand and the loyalty you have build with your customers.