Friday, May 22, 2009

Starwood Sheraton Hotel Survey Sucks

This Starwood Sheraton Hotel Survey Sucks

Customer surveys are a good idea - but good ideas can be messed up by poor implementation. Here is an example of a customer survey that only served to annoy me as the customer of Sheraton Starwood Hotels.

The first rule of surveys is to be clear on your purpose. For example: are you conducting your customer survey to fix problems, discover opportunities, gather performance stats for marketing - or justify a manager's bonus?

The second rule of surveys is to see it from the customer's point of view.

After my stay at a Sheraton Hotel in Montreal I received the following request by email to complete a customer survey.

When you ask your customers to complete a survey - remember that they are doing it for you. So it would help your cause if you were warm, friendly, respectful and offered a reward for their time and perspective.

When I received the survey request from Sheraton Starwood Hotels - I deleted the first email because it seemed cold, demanding and all about them. And they offered me nothing as a reward for my time and opinion.

Then I received the second email as below. It was no warmer nor convincing to me. But this time I clicked and completed the survey - not because they did a better job of inviting me - but because I wanted to discover if it got any better. It did not. In my opinion, the Starwood Sheraton Hotel customer survey sucks.



We recently sent you an e-mail inviting you to participate in an on-line survey about your stay at at Le Centre Sheraton ending on May 5, 2009. If you have not yet completed the survey, I want to let you know it is not too late to participate. We would like to again take this opportunity to personally thank you for your continued patronage. As you may already know, Sheraton Hotels And Resorts is part of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts family of brands (Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, W Hotels, S t. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Le Meridien, Aloft and Element). As a Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Preferred member, you are a highly valued guest and we appreciate your loyalty and feedback enormously.

Notice the tone of how this first paragraph starts, "We did something and you haven't completed your part." The thank you gets lost after they chastised me for "not yet completing". And then there are several lines about them - they list their hotel brands. Why? Would that convince me to complete their survey?

We would greatly appreciate it if you could take the time to complete a brief survey regarding your most recent stay. This is important to our company, hotels and our brands that use this information worldwide to continuously improve our guest's experience and, most importantly, how to meet and exceed your expectations in the future. TNS has been retained to conduct this survey on behalf of Starwood.

This paragraph is all about them. Why would I care? They still have placed no value on my time. They simply demand it.

At your convenience, please take some time to complete the survey. To complete the survey online, simply click on this link:xxxx or copy and paste the link into the address line of your browser. If you have any difficulty accessing the survey, please send an email message to

The survey itself will take only about 10 minutes of your time. If you are being prompted for a validation code after clicking on the link, please copy and paste the following into the field:

Ten minutes of my time - that's all they want. Don't they realize that if I can afford to stay at a Sheraton or Starwood Hotel that I place a high value on my time?

By providing this information you authorize Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., and its affiliated and subsidiary companies, (the "Starwood Group"): to collect, process and use the data provided for any lawful, Starwood Group business related purpose; to store the data at and transmit the data to various location(s), either directly or through its third party vendor(s), as the Starwood Group deems appropriate, throughout the world, whether within your country of residence, the United States, or elsewhere. To learn about our data collection and usage practices, please see our Privacy Statement:

The lawyers got to have their say to earn their pay.

We appreciate your business and thank you for staying at a Starwood hotel. We hope that you will visit other Starwood hotels and resorts in the near future.

About time that they thanked me. Where's my prize? If they really appreciated me and my business they could demonstrate that with a gift.

Denise Coll
North America Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

So how do I get my 10 minutes of the president's time? She implied that ten minutes of my time was worth nothing.

It;s been at least a week since I "completed" the Starwood Hotel Survey and I have not received a thank you, acknowledgement or offer of a reward.

The service at the Sheraton was pretty good with a couple exceptions and the Starwood customer service survey sucks.


George Torok


1 comment:

Jamie Michelson said...

I had a recent incident with Sheraton. Dealt with it directly and posted a recap on my blog. When I got the "stock" survey via email a few days later I was surprised. I didn't want to dredge it all up again so I passed. And then the "reminder" emails to complete the survey started arriving. Thanks for dissecting the survey. I hope you had a positive response and influenced the process.