5 Ways to #Fail with a Survey

Thanks to Amtrak, I was treated to a great example of how NOT to survey your customers.

A few days ago, a plain white envelope, looking a little bill-like, appeared in my mail box. Normally, I take the time to complete these surveys – call it a professional courtesy from one Marketer to another. But this one left me scratching my head.

Here are the five #fails:

1) Too Late. I took the trip on September 25th. The survey arrived on November 5th. Six weeks after the service – how valid will my comments be?

2) Too Long. 55 questions. 3 pages. Seriously? We’re in the Twitter age. You can never assume you have that much attention from a customer.

3) Too Old.  No online option. “Please return in the pre-addressed, postage paid envelope”. Hmm.

4)  Too Many. I received two of them, identical, on the same day. Never a good idea to look disorganized and incompetent at the moment you’re asking for feedback.

5) Too Late (#2). I was booked on the non-stop Acela Express from Newark to Boston, a 4 hr trip. In reality, I had to change at New York, sat on the floor until a seat opened up, was stuck in Connecticut for an hour plus, and finally got to Boston 2.5 hrs late. And the first communication I had from Amtrak was a satisfaction survey. I’m not suggesting that you exclude known bad experiences from your survey. But at least acknowledge the issue before you ask for feedback.

So, there you have it. The 5 things Amtrak should do to fix their survey?

Be timely; Be brief; Be mobile; Be smart; Be…well, smart

What’s the worst survey you’ve seen recently?

Published by Steve Cummins

VP of Marketing at Opengear; B2B marketing professional with global experience, specializing in technology products; Digital marketing enthusiast. Opinions are my own.

One thought on “5 Ways to #Fail with a Survey

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