Although I have gathered comments from more than 8 million survey respondents over the past 21 years, I still hear something new every day. Let me take you inside a survey for Royal Caribbean passengers I’m analyzing this week. Of the 848 comments, there were many kindly kudos and genuine complaints which, if addressed quickly, can turn complainers into return guests and smiling guests into raving fans.
But there is always plenty of curious feedback that leaves me wondering. Here are 15 verbatim comments from this survey, followed by my best guess at a response. Let me know if you have a better response so I can let these passengers know their voice was properly heard!
“Had I known this cruise had booked a big bridge tournament, I would have cancelled.” Those rowdy bridge players always keep me awake with their loud shuffling.
“The Hot-and-Sour soup was way too sour.” But was it too hot?
“Guests with hot drinks were everywhere, and the drinking of grog in the pools.” It was mayhem!
“On the way back on the tour, the bus driver hit the coconut tree.” Gotta read the fine print on those shore excursions to see what is included.
“Vision of the Seas shuts down at 1:30am. The casino at 2am. No more food or drinks. That’s a fact.” Jack.
“Had the Royal Suite. The bathroom stunk.” Push silver button centered above toilet.
“The hall always smelled like the nursing home.” Guess that’s better than smelling like the Royal Suite.
“I was on the Harmony of the Seas. Do you have a lost and found? I lost my blue Nike cap.” Wow, I gotta follow up on this one and will be totally impressed if Royal returns the cap!
“The steak was rear instead of well done as I asked for.” I like medium but would take well done over rear.
“I had to climb over the end of the bed to get in.” Wow, what an exhausting cruise that must have been.
“…and Jesus from the restaurant, his service was the best.” Well, of course. He’s Jesus. Did you expect Him to provide bad service?
“Being treated like cattle going to slaughter is not an experience I appreciate.” I would choose “strongly agree” if this was a question on the survey.
“The dance music wasn’t at all age appropriate. People over 60 years old DO NOT DISCO!” Nor do most people under 60.
“People spitting in the swimming pool. Disgusting.” I don’t mind the spitting if only the crew would pull those beer-swilling volleyballers out every hour for a restroom break.
… and, proving my point that even when you’ve heard it all, you still haven’t heard it all:
“On the tour we did in Honduras, the monkey bit my uncle’s finger.”
[I’ll leave it to readers to give an appropriate response to this one].
Matthew Champagne is author of the upcoming “What the Cruise Industry Never Asks Their Guests” and the practitioners classic: The Survey Playbook. Dr. Champagne was honored as 2015 Technology Visionary by SURVEY Magazine. Apply his insights to your surveys today.