Why I’m Not Responding to Your Customer Satisfaction Survey

“Thank you for choosing (name of hotel) for your recent stay. I would love it if you would take a few minutes to tell us about your experience …”

“You should recently have received an email from us regarding your last trip booked (with us). We’re always looking to improve, and the best ideas come from customers like you. Please take a brief survey (only about 5 minutes) about your recent experience.”

“We recently sent you an email asking about your recent flight from (here) to (there) on (date). We know you have a choice in travel and appreciate when you choose to fly with us. As a valued customer, your feedback is important to us and will help us continue to improve. Please begin this short survey …”

This is just a small sampling of the customer survey e-mails I’ve received in the last week. Each of these are well-intentioned efforts at improving the service I receive from these businesses — I know that—but it’s too much.

A few minutes here, five minutes there, a short survey after that. Pretty soon that adds up to a major part of my day. More than I’m willing to give away for free.

So, dear businesses that I interact with, I hereby declare a new policy:

I’m not going to grade you on every single interaction that I have with you.

I can’t keep up with your business and every other business that I interact with on a routine basis.

I’m asking you to please stop sending me your survey requests. The act of asking for — often begging for — a survey response every time itself degrades from the quality of the experience I have with your business.

If the quality of service I receive from your business is exceptionally good or exceptionally bad, I’ll find a way to let you know. If I’m silent, please assume that your work was at least reasonably good and that there is no meaningful feedback I can give your business to improve.

I choose the term “exceptional” intentionally. Even if good, not every interaction I have with you will be exceptionally good. Not every interaction will be a 10. Most will be an 8 or 9, what I call “reasonably good,” and I am honestly quite satisfied with that.

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