We’re big fans of Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, and our family spent the afternoon there for Father’s Day last weekend.
As you enter its beautiful grounds, you pass through a kiosk where you receive a brochure and a survey.
I’m thrilled to see any business attempting to gather data about its customers, but there are some flaws in Bernheim’s execution that are very common.
With a few tweaks, I bet they can quintuple their response rate and greatly improve the quality of visitor feedback.
Let’s start with the delivery of the survey. We received it (along with the brochure) on Saturday, but I didn’t even know it existed until I happened to review their literature five days later.
I didn’t notice the survey at the time because I was more focused on using the brochure to figure out which hike we were going to take, where we would have our picnic, etc. So we were too busy planning our excursion to even notice the survey.
(And believe me, we’re the kind of nerds who notice surveys.)
An easy-to-implement improvement is to have the kiosk greeter highlight the survey when s/he hands it out. Have the employee emphasize that a survey is a part of the informational packet, state how important feedback is to Bernheim, and implore the visitor to take it. (Stop by a Valvoline to see a company that has really trained its employees well on delivering feedback surveys.)
My guess is that simply raising awareness of the survey will increase the response rate tremendously.
Once I found the survey five days later, I realized that the only way to return to it is to put it in a collection box stationed at the same kiosk where I received it. If I need to fill out the survey while I am there and then make a special stop at the exit kiosk on my way out, they need to tell me this! I’m trying to juggle two kids, backpacks, and afternoon caffeine withdrawal. You can’t count on me to be proactive about your survey under such conditions.
Also, there’s no address to mail it to and no website where I can take the survey online. So unless I drive back there, there’s no way for me to provide feedback.
How many people have left the park, found the survey, and thrown it away for lack of any other option? (I realize they have a whole forest, but that’s still a big waste of paper.)
Bernheim has a decent website (see here) and they advertise it on the front cover of their brochure.
So why not add a page to the website where visitors can take the survey? And if their web platform doesn’t support data collection, there are many places that could help. (Ahem.)
Next time we’ll take a look at some of the questions on the survey. Enjoy the weekend!!