This article by Gary Schwartz reminds us that guest feedback is a dialogue and that a healthy dialogue with anyone can be ruined when one party simply drops out of the conversation unexpectedly. You begin a conversation by asking someone how they feel about you, and after they give you a detailed and thoughtful answer, you simply walk away without comment. Ouch, you were used, dude.
OK, so let’s stay with this theme and say surveying guests is indeed a dialogue.
- In a dialogue, do you ordinarily give the answers to your questions in advance?
- No matter what is said, do you keep asking the same list of questions?
- Do you ask so many questions the other person gets sick of the conversation?
- Do you conduct the dialogue the exact same way every time, no matter who you are talking to?
Gary Schwartz is right. It is downright rude to ask for feedback and not acknowledge it.
But why are companies so afraid to ask ‘What and How’ questions and read, actually listen, to what they are told? Instead, the tendency is to jam guests with as many questions as possible, often with canned answers at the ready in multiple choice form. That probably works OK if your dialogue is about your experience at the Post Office, QSR restaurant, or retail store. Not a good dialogue when asking about a special guest experience at a restaurant, hotel, spa or cruise line.
When developing guest surveys, let’s hope that hospitality operators really approach it as a dialogue. Let what we learned about the art of conversation be the guide when we ask guests to invest their time and dialogue with us.
Read the article here.