Improving Survey Response Rates

Matt Morris, Matt Morris

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August 31, 2010

A common statement I hear from individuals responsible for gathering and analyzing customer feedback is that it can be difficult to get a good percentage of response rates. This could be attributed to the type of survey, the customers’ affinity towards your product, timing of delivery and the lack of an incentive.
Response rates are generally lower when using comment cards or paper surveys versus an on-line survey because the customer is in a hurry to leave the property and head home so they do not take the time to complete your survey however short it may be. Plus, there is rarely any branding on the physical comment card whereas in an on-line survey you have ample opportunity to position your property logo and color schemes. Additionally, using an on-line solution, you get an opportunity to position your brand in the invitation, actual survey itself, and the thank you page. From the experience we have with CustomerCount, the best time to deliver a survey to the consumer gathering information on their vacation experience is 24 to 48 hours after they check-out.

People will only take the time to complete a survey if they have an affinity to your brand. Why else would you want to help a resort by providing feedback on your vacation, reservation or sales experience if there is not a connection? This is precisely why you should incorporate your logo and color scheme into any and all communications with consumers. It is not hard and will go a long way in building brand awareness for you.
Lastly, do you position an incentive or not? Statistically speaking, survey response rates will be lower if there is not an incentive. An incentive can be 20% off your next purchase at the resort restaurant, spa, or gift shop. Or, you can position an incentive for a discounted stay in the future. All of these incentives will increase your response rates which will provide you more statistical data to work from.

Take care…..


Put Your Best Foot Forward

Matt Morris, Matt Morris

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August 27, 2010 by Marc Carlson

There are many consumer touch points a resort property can have with consumers. Reservations for accommodations must take place whether that is done online or via telephone. So there is some kind of interaction between your property and the consumer of which could provide valuable information about that experience.

1. Was their reservation handled in a timely manner?
2. Did they find what they were looking for in accommodations?
3. What type of time interval are they looking for in a stay?

Once the reservation process has been completed, you wait to receive the guests for their vacation stay. It can’t hurt to send them some communication and find out what they are interested in doing while at your property. Then, the consumer comes into direct contact with staff at the entrance, welcome center and possibly sales people when arriving at a property. Every employee can make a difference in making a positive impression on the consumer that this stay will be pleasurable. I find that if I call the front desk or the resort’s restaurant and the individual on the other side of the phone has a pleasant demeanor and goes the extra mile in making sure I get what I want, when I want, my perception of the resort improves each and every time. When I fill out my survey, I will be recounting the many interactions with resort employees that I had during my stay.

If I go outside my unit, I’m most likely to see a grounds person, housekeeper, or maintenance employee taking care of the property. A simple “Hello” goes a long way and I will remember that brief interaction when completing a survey or comment card. Employee interactions can set the tone for a consumer’s expectations about the resort they are staying at and I believe that happens in person and via the telephone. Employees should be trained to embrace every opportunity they have interacting with customers. Not only will this increase employee loyalty but it will also increase the number of surveys completed by consumers which is always a task. Keep surveying your customers and don’t forget to communicate with them that their voice was heard.

Until next time….


Use Surveys to Drive Newsletter Content

Matt Morris, Matt Morris

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August 24, 2010 by Marc Carlson

Driving content for your properties’ newsletter can be a daunting task for anyone assigned that responsibility. Do you discuss the newest craze that is social media? Or do you provide information about the newest amenity around the local area that would interest visitors? I submit, why not use your existing members and guests to provide you the newsletter content? This can easily be realized by using information received from your comment cards or electronic surveys. Consultants always talk about communicating with the ownership population, so here is a great opportunity to do so.

Let them know right off the bat that you are communicating information as a direct result from a recent survey. This makes existing owners feel good because you are commenting on a subject they recently provided feedback. For new visitors, it shows your property is proactive in not only listening to their likes and dislikes, but also share their comments with the masses. Depending on how often your newsletter is distributed, you could have one question in your survey that changes month to month.