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    « Ego and Greed | Main | Apple and the Destination Marketing Strategy »

    October 29, 2007

    Customer Satisfaction Surveys

    In case you haven't noticed I am a firm believer in the principle and methodologies communicated in Fred Reichhelds book "The Ultimate Question".  I recently stayed at a Hilton Hotel in London England.  I had a bad experience.  I am a frequent customer of Hilton Hotels and felt an obligation to provide them some feedback when they sent me a customer satisfaction survey.  It was a nice Web survey to make it easier for me to respond...yeah right!.  I went through page after page of questions.  There were so many pages that they required a status indicator at the bottom to show me what % of completion I was in the survey.  Every time I gave an indication that I was dissatisfied the screen changed and expanded.  Ten more questions appeared to ask why I wasn't satisfied.  The more I answered the further I was on the % completed indicator.  I was getting worried that I might spend the whole day just to finish.  It seemed the only way to finish was to either quit or to start giving satisfied or "not applicable" answers.  I reached the point of dissatisfaction that I was committed to finish just to show how dissatisfied I really was.  I finally go to the point where I could type in a free form response.  Here it is.

    Your surveys are awful.  Hopefully this doesn't get filtered out by the survey company, MarketMatrix.  If you own stock in MarketMatrix sell it.  This survey is way too long.  I spent over 15 minutes just to communicate to you I had a bad experience.  I will never respond to one of your surveys again and you will no longer know how satisfied I am.  Read the book the "The Ultimate Question".  Fire your survey company and do it yourself!  If you'd like to talk to me please give me a call.

    Following the methodology in The Ultimate Question they should have asked the following questions:

    1. Based on your recent stay at the Hilton London Euston Hotel would you recommend this hotel to a friend or colleague? (Please rate us from 0 to 10).
    2. If we didn't score a 9 or 10 what do we need to do to score a 9 or 10?  If we did what was the most important factor that influenced your decision?
    3. May we contact you to discuss this?

    If they use this methodology; the number of responses they will get will increase, the goodwill from their customers will increase, and the data they collect will be more meaningful and measurable.


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    Steve Bova, IRgA

    Thanks for sharing your experience and lesson learned, John. Your crusade for the sake of brevity and clarity has helped the IRgA to generate more meaningful surveys with a higher response rate. There is merit to keeping things on a high level. Usually, it is b ut a few moments that trigger the satisfied or not satisfied emotion, and people will be happy to share their experiences if asked in a way that is easy to share. Reprographics shops would do well to adopt this philosophy with their customer surveys.

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