29 May 2011

Note to Survey Writers: THINK AND REVIEW PLEASE

I am a travel geek who flies a lot and I stay a lot in hotels around the world. I hope that I can provide feedback whenever possible. However I really get annoyed at different players who think that having paid for the hotel or flight that I MUST fill out a badly designed form written by some junior flunky who has no idea what she/he is doing yet its in their remit to do this thing. Then they manipulate the data into forms that will please the bosses who in turn will crow in public how their product is so wonderful.

Politely BS. (I really wanted to write a different few words here but this is a family oriented website).

I think survey monkey should be banned from the hands of any person writing a survey. But worse I think that the survey tools that are out there are so BADLY USED that we should stop responding to them.

Let me pick on Marriott Hotels. I am a fairly loyal customer of Marriott. I probably give them about 10-15 room nights a year. The most I have ever given them is 30 direct and then a further 45 from different people who I directed there. I say this not to get them to do more for me - but to give some context to my interaction with them.

So after a stay at the Marriott in a major Asian City 2 weeks ago. The hotel is in a great location - but it is a little long in the tooth. Playing trainers game - the place was really tired. The rooms left a lot to be desired. I also attended a convention there.

But what is so stupid and bad. Their survey tool asked me a whole load of totally irrelevant and repeat questions.

The Marriott survey asked me more than 20 pages of questions (frankly I lost count - there were probably more than 100 actual questions I had to answer. The questions were largely not relevant. The design of the survey completely haphazard. The tool was also a memory hog in my browser.


Here is an example of the screens and the stupid questions asked.

Marriott - shame on you. You can do a lot better. Please think more carefully and smack the hands of your marketing dept for putting out such rubbish. Your customers and staff deserve better.

However while I am picking on Marriott - the number of these that I fill out every month are reflective of the same poor thinking. This one just happens to be an extreme example of the stupidity of using this format.


1 comment:

Mark Lenahan said...

I think these surveys are sometimes a result of committee thinking or the fact that each department within the group are being independently judged on customer satisfaction. So effectively the "scope" of the survey grows the more departments are asked to submit questions or need to be measured. The customer satisfaction metrics need to align to corporate goals so departments can be compared so we'll end up being asked stuff that is vague or impossible to answer, like the customer service culture of people you never meet, or the cleanliness of places we never see. To be fair to marketing they are probably pulling their hair out! Coming up with 5 top questions they will ask 1 in 10 customers in return for a points award would be the ideal survey, but it would take real company wide vision to come up with the right questions.