Do meeting and event venues really care about what their customers think?
I am beginning to wonder this. Having spoken with lots of venues, the variety of replies can be from ‘we view TripAdvisor, our Head Office does it, we have feedback cards, or we telephone interview our organisers.’
Great news we are asking our customers, but how relevant is the feedback we receive?
In my experience, a telephone interview can sometimes be held two to three months after the event and most organisers I know have probably planned and run a few more events by then. After the collation of the data, the final report is out of date. I would continually frustrate my Operational and Sales teams who would inevitably tell me that ‘Yes, they knew about that’ and ‘Yes, they sorted that on the day…did I not trust them?’
Completed feedback cards are great but it can take time to add them into an excel spreadsheet and then if you know how to use Wizard, you can get some great statistics.
Then there’s TripAdvisor, ok it is an amazing system, but does it really give an event venue the feedback on all that their customers experienced at that meeting or event?
Does the venue know in what capacity these customers visited a venue or what event they attended? No. So how are you going to understand the feedback they leave and how will you use it to make a difference to future customers?
Is what our customer say, think, feel and experience not at the very heart of what we do?
Of course, the worst of it is when some Sales and Operations Directors and General Managers actually say ‘Do I want to know? What if its negative?’
Well I say use it, learn from it. Good or bad there is no reason to not want to know what your customers think. Our venues appreciate it.
“Its great that we can use the statistics in our business case now, as our customers are also telling us that our ladies toilets need refurbishing!”
“It really helped with our in-house training as we could identify that not all our staff understood our new menus.”
Getting quality, transparent, independent and relevant customer feedback is what our industry needs and we should all be embracing every opportunity to listen.
Liz Carnell, Director, Venue Experience