Do You Take Surveys About Your Travel Experiences?

by on June 3, 2014 · 29 comments

in Airline Industry, Hotel Industry, Hotel Reviews, Reviews

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It seems these days that after every flight, hotel stay, customer service call that I make, I am immediately greeted by an email asking about my experience. Whether it is coming from United or Chase, it appears that everyone wants to know my opinion on how they are doing.

United Survey

United Survey

In one week alone, I received five surveys from United, Chase, Delta and Barclays asking my experiences with them. United inquired about a flight I took, Delta wanted to know about my visit to a Sky Club and Chase was curious about how I felt their customer service when one of my cards had a fraud alert on it. Every email had similar wording, along the lines of “We value your opinion and would appreciate a few minutes of your time to fill out a short survey regarding your experience. Each month we ask a small sample of customers for their feedback, so your response really matters to us.”

Delta SkyClub Survey

Delta, I’m really not sure you want to hear what I think about your dumpy Newark SkyClub

I met recently with a hotel executive who could not stress enough how important these surveys were and in many cases, go directly to the General Manager of the property and factor highly into performance goals. I guess I never realized how important they were, but honestly I’m so inundated with them, that I generally just ignore them, though I’ve heard that a lot of people take them.

Am I alone here or is everyone else taking these surveys? If so, have you ever gotten any direct feedback from a hotel/airline/travel provider or dare I say… compensation?

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Ben Skelton

    Depends. I find the hotel ones seem to be actioned and I often will get a response, but the Airline ones aren’t granular enough to give constructive feedback. For example Air Canada does ‘em but always lumps all of the in flight experience together, whereas I would prefer to indicate that the crew was amazing but the food was disgusting. Without that granularity they seem pretty useless.

  • iahphx

    Yeah, this has been going on for quite sometime. Several years ago, I started a flyertalk thread about it — which prompted a media interview. The situation really hasn’t changed: almost every chain hotel stay — and many car and airline interactions — result in a survey form. My response hasn’t changed: unless you’re willing to compensate me, I don’t respond to these surveys. If I’m going to review something, it’s more valuable to post it on tripadvisor, where BOTH the proprietor and other customers can benefit from the information.

  • Christopher

    As a manager at a hotel, I can second how highly they are valued within the company. Anything from mentioning a special employee or saying check-in was too slow can make or break a goal.

    As a customer I try to fill them out as often as possible, name-dropping if I can remember, but no, I have never been offered compensation for my time.

    Remember: On a scale from 1-10, a 9 is just as bad as a 1! If you had a great time, give em a 10!

  • surveyresponses

    I fill out every survey for travel that I received. SPG is best at addressing any comments that I have. Avis also responded to my feedback too. Most of the time the responses are immediate too.

  • Mike

    I left a shirt in a hotel a couple months ago. I called and was told it would be searched for and shipped to me. After 3-4 days with no word from the hotel staff the automated e-mail for feedback arrived. I filled out the feedback form and mentioned that I was still waiting to hear back regarding my shirt. I got a call from the hotel manager not long after saying they found the shirt and were shipping it. Might have been coincidence, but who knows?

    I suspect a good reason why hotels respond to feedback is because people who fill out feedback forms are probably more likely to fill out reviews on travel sites. Those reviews seem to matter more for hotels than airlines.

  • Taylor

    Fill them out ALMOST every time I get them, but have never heard anything back

  • HeavenlyJane

    If I have a strong opinion (positive or negative), I will complete the survey. When I have a good experience, I respond with names and particulars as a way to reward good behavior. Positive responses might end up in an employee’s personnel file and might even get them a promotion. It’s a opportunity to give back.
    When I leave negative but constructive criticism, I often get a personal response back. So these surveys are an opportunity to communicate directly with management

  • JC

    Hertz gives coupons ($5 off a daily or $25 off a weekly) when you fill out their surveys.

  • sdl

    I do try and take the surveys, especially for companies like Delta, they need to know how much we really really really disapprove of their current practices.

    If i have received regular customer service with a credit card issue I take a pass on these.

    For hotels, if I have received service that is less then my expectations or exceeds my expectations then I let them know. Hotel employees deserve the positive feedback, pleasing the myriad of requests and personalities is not an easy task.

  • PriusGuy

    I fill them out when I can, especially if someone was exceptionally helpful or if there was an egregious problem.

    But in addition to being somewhat over-surveyed, I have a concern that companies may be trying to game the system. Comments like: “Remember: On a scale from 1-10, a 9 is just as bad as a 1! If you had a great time, give em a 10!” also suggests that most of the data could become meaningless.

    I have never been offered compensation related to taking a customer survey.

    Rand Pearsall

  • Auntie

    I’m not opposed to them, but if I make a call to AT&T I’m asked to do one. If I talk to my bank I’m asked to do one. If I fly I’m asked to do one. At a point I start to wonder.. are they working for me because I’m their client, or am I working for them by filling out their surveys.Something’s wrong if they’re so worried whether they’re doing everything right.

  • John Rogers

    In a nutshell, yes. In two instances I have had managers of Starwoods Hotels contact me after submitting a survey to make amends for something that was amiss during a stay. Not sure about other companies, but Starwoods does seem to respond to the surveys. This is a good thing.

  • Michael

    I guess the main question is really, do I take surveys about taking surveys about my travel experiences. Apparently, the answer is yes. :-)

    But seriously, I normally only complete the surveys if the experience was very good or very bad.

  • haterubbermaid

    I have in the past taken the United Airline survey and twice got miles ( for my bad experience ). Then I guess they figured they’d go broke, and stopped giving me points. Only 3 outta 4 were bad experiences! I tried offering them sound, doable advice then I just stopped responding. Unfortunately I have to use their services twice a week!

  • Flyerdoc

    I often fill them out, but it is interesting that the places that need them most often don’t send them. For example, we just stayed at a Homewood Suites in Philadelphia and we were having numerous issues related to housekeeping and also to the elevators and staff use of them. I told my husband that I couldn’t wait to fill out this survey since talking to the manager wasn’t making a dent in service. Voila; no survey!

  • worker

    Surveys have gotten to the point that after interviewing at a large tech company recently, I got a survey for that. The whole process had actually been quite ridiculous from the HR perspective — I had to communicate to 8 (!) different people and it took six weeks just to schedule one interview, and none of them had any idea what the others had done/already discussed with me. I used the survey to tell the company all about it, and… No response.

  • MMA

    Same here. I had a terrible experience at a Starwood hotel and complained in the survey. Manager called and I got a voucher for a free tonight stay.

  • Peach Front

    Something’s wrong because they’re taking away a job that a real human being used to do. People need to stop taking surveys for free or for the insulting promise of “maybe you’ll win a sweepstakes” that no one ever wins.

  • Paul W

    Nah, surveys are a waste of my time. Oh, wait…

  • Scott C

    My sister used to work for Sprint and they had sales quotas. Then, they started not counting their sales unless the customer filled out a comment card and gave them all 5s (on scale of 1 to 5). Since I learned of practices like that, I am more generous with giving an employee an excellent review if they did a good job. In other words, I won’t give a 10 if the person gave poor service, but I’ll give it a 10 where I otherwise might have given an 8 or 9.

    If I’m evaluating the hotel/airline/etc. in general rather than an employee, I rate them normally. Of course, the majority of the time, I don’t complete the surveys at all.

  • Matt P

    I don’t mind filling out the surveys, but only if they are reasonably short. I’m saying a max of 10 questions.

    The Nissan dealership that I take my car to for servicing sends me a survey after every visit. And they are very insistent that you fill out the survey because they get scored by Nissan on the survey results. But, the frickin survey is about 10 pages long. I’ve tried filling it out several times, only to remember that it takes 10 minutes to make it half way through the survey.

    United’s surveys are usually shorter, but I often don’t feel the need to fill out a survey for a non-eventful flight. Why fill out a survey if they did their job and didn’t provide a memorable flight (in a good way or bad way)?

  • Sartaxi

    Do it all the time, especially with United, and sometimes some serious damning feedback. They’ve never taken the opportunity to get back to me, and honestly I don’t think they do anything with it.

  • Rich Johnson

    Back when united used to offer a drawing for points, I used to take them. No one is offering any form of points or comp for taking them now so honestly I just don’t have the time. If I have a great experience (or a bad one) I rely on Twitter.

  • Kevin

    I’ve had a couple of these from hotels in the last few months – I filled them out and shortly after I have received emails from the hotels General Manager thanking me for taking my time to respond and for the nice comments. If my 5 minutes helps them to offer better customer service, I’m game.

  • Will

    I work in market research. Given the scale of the number of email invites that go out, we don’t need to offer incentives since there are invariably going to be lots of people filling them out.

    That said, I do tend to fill these out, particularly if I have a bad experience. Hyatt is pretty good at rectifying any mistakes or at minimal, the manager personally writes back and apologizes. Other major companies like airlines will not write back or offer to fix anything, but rest assured that the top 2-3 items mentioned negatively (in aggregate) gets reported to the top brass. Whether they take action on those items is another thing (based on cost/profit, incremental improvement, trade offs, etc.).

  • Judy Serie Nagy

    I kind of enjoy doing the surveys, but if they start asking things like “how does this whatever fit in with your lifestyle” I disappear. Some of them are obviously just BS and they’re not looking for meaningful input; the survey reads like some required college project. If a survey does not allow me to make a meaningful comment about something, I disappear. Or my biggest annoyance – no opportunity to put N/A, they insist on an answer that is meaningless. I probably start twice as many surveys as I complete.

  • Linda Erdely Pierce

    Surveys arrive for everything now. If they can’t at least give me air miles, some hotel points, or at the very least enter me in a drawing for something, I don’t do them anymore.

  • oberon

    IHG sends me a survey whenever I had no problem and does not send me one whenever I have complained to the front desk about something and it has happened so often that I can’t call it coincidence.
    So I think the whole survey game is a scam by company managers to impress/fool company owners at the end of year when they show how happy customers have been under their management.

  • Kent C

    No one has pointed this out but these surveys do NOT come directly from the hotel, airline, etc. They come from independent private survey companies. Look at the URLs, they have no relation to the name of the airline or hotel, in almost all cases. You are asked sometimes for VERY personal information, such as income, age, occupation, etc, usually at the end of the survey. If you get to that point, I stop and close it out, do not submit. Now I longer fill them out.

    Personally I have been compensated by hotels and airlines multiple times for mistakes, delays or bad customer service. But NEVER from surveys, always from either writing HR directly, the hotel or airline directly or contacting the hotel and speaking to the manager directly.

    Don’t waste your time with surveys. These survey companies make $$$$$$ every time you fill one out and will also use your info to market more surveys or ads to you.

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