Beating Survey Burnout - Good News for Hospitality
By Jonathan Barsky Partner, Market Metrix | February 02, 2014
There has been dramatic growth in the number of surveys that we are subjected to. USA Today recently published an article on survey fatigue saying that "consumers are being pinged for opinions at a rate that has gotten some publicly grousing about a surfeit of surveys." There was a time not too long ago when an invitation to take an online survey made you feel a little special. Now, not so much.
There is a survey invitation on the back of every receipt. Our inbox is full of opportunities to share our opinions. Surveys pop up when we're searching the web, and when we're reading online. It's hard to do just about anything without someone asking what we thought about the experience. "Survey fatigue" has been a concern among researchers for a long time. If people stop taking surveys, it could really hamper the quality of the data many rely on to make important business decisions.
Response rates have been falling fast for many forms of research. According to Pew Research Center, their response rates have fallen from about 36 percent in 1997 to 11 percent in 2013. The hospitality industry is hungrier for feedback than most. It relies on guest surveys to understand what is going well and what can be improved. It also needs positive online reviews on websites like TripAdvisor to influence booking choices. Significant survey fatigue would be devastating if it hit hospitality.
Fortunately, there is plenty hospitality can do to prevent survey response rates from dropping into the doldrums. To begin with, hotels, restaurants and travel experiences in general are things people like to talk about. A well-managed feedback program can generate participation rates that are consistently high.
Market Metrix has been collecting guest feedback for hospitality clients for more than 15 years. Our clients' guests complete millions of surveys each year. In spite of the rising tide of surveys, and slumping participation, many of our clients have response rates over 35% -- without using any incentives! And some of these surveys take 30 minutes or longer to complete.
Below we will explore some of the secrets we've discovered that encourage feedback and keep participation rates healthy.
How to Avoid Survey Fatigue