On the heels of my LA trip this week, I promptly received a "can you take a moment" email from the hotel where I stayed, asking if i would fill out a satisfaction survey. Like most, my initial reaction was to blow it off-- I don't have the time, etc. But since I like the hotel, and had some feedback (dead batteries in remotes for AC, TV, DVD, etc), I decided to fill it out. Took only a few minutes online.
About an hour after submitting my response, I received an email apology acknowledging my concerns and a complimentary upgrade certificate for next stay. Now, the proof in the pudding will be if on my next trip, the room, remotes, etc are up to snuff. Yet, I feel like a new sense of loyalty toward the hotel at this moment because they listened, and yes because I got a freebie. It's mostly due to the appearance that they listen, and correct (Recover) from unsatisfactory service. Always a great lesson-- it is at the moment that you take negative feedback and react to correct that you turn grazers into loyal customers.
I started to think about how many times people blow off surveys -- don't have the time-- and how they deny themselves the chance to be seen and heard, and the opportunity for a benefit. In fact, I'm starting to believe that it happens so often that folks who take the time to be seen and heard in a survey will get a benefit 100% of the time.
It happened that last year, I popped into a Tully's in my office building for my customary cup of coffee. The baristas handed me a card and asked me to go online and give them a good review. They are a good crew, so why not. Took two minutes. About a month later, i get a call "It's Homer from corporate at Tullys......" (Me: "Make it quick." I figured-- sales pitch). "Uh, well, since you filled out our survey, you were chosen at random and have won $1,000 worth of Tully's lattes." Holy sh-t, that's a nice surprise, all for a two minute online survey! They earned my loyalty for the rest of the year (have since moved my office) and I have enjoyed those free lattes!
So, to the marketers-- keep em coming. I am not one to be short on opinions! To everyone else-- take time to respond if you care. You will be surprised.