Any form of marketing tool that tells you how well you are doing in your business is a good thing. Even the “F” comments can be as beneficial to you as the “A+” comments because it will require you to provide some positive action that can only be beneficial to your business.

The Cruise lines industry previously used survey cards, but apparently the email  technology, suggests that grades by email is better…or is it?

A recent survey taken by the guest relations department of a cruise ship indicates that approximately only 40% of folks receive the actual survey, which is a much smaller number of people filling out the paper surveys handed out in earlier years.

What is amazing is that travelers are actually waiting or looking for the comment cards following their trips. Most of them were very pleased with some of the crew, staff, accommodations, and ships and wanted to make sure the “proper” people were aware of their appreciation of success.

Here is an example of a traveler that wanted desperately to “comment” on his cruises…4 of them.

“I have to say…We have been on 5 cruises since they switched to the e-mail system.
Never got an e-mail after the first 4. FINALLY got an e-mail 3 days after we got home.
Was extraordinarily happy to finally get one and so fast.(I am horrible about forgetting everybody’s names after a week or so.) Had an incredible wait staff and a good room stewards this cruise.definitely wanted to give them their props.

Here’s another one:

“Weird, I have gotten them every time since they started doing the emails. Just went on a B2B and both surveys waiting in my email when I got back. They are longer than the old paper versions, pretty detailed. The only thing I don’t like is that by the time, I did the survey it had been two weeks since our first cruise and by that time, I had forgotten the name of the steward I wanted to commend, etc. I guess that’s more my fault than anything else, but still.”Some cruise lines use a contest to draw the feedback from a survey/comment cards.

“Everyone at Carnival Cruise Lines works very hard to create the ultimate vacation experience. As a valued Carnival guest, your feedback is extremely important to our success – It gives us insight into what you feel are essential components to a fun-filled, carefree, and memorable vacation.

Please, take a moment to tell us about your cruise experience. This feedback aids in our efforts to create “vacations of a lifetime.” And oh yeah, just to show you how much we appreciate your feedback, your returned survey will automatically be entered in a drawing for a FREE* 7 day Carnival cruise.”
Prize (1 per month): A 3, 4, 5, or 7-day cruise for Winner and one (1) travel guest (“Travel Guest”) in one ocean view stateroom.

As a Cruise Planner/American Express Franchise Owner, you too can make sure that comment cards or emails become as important to collect as purchasing your ticket to travel.  Does the agent have a hard copy of a survey in the travel packet?  Are comment cards available at every ticket counter, and included in brochures or kits that are sent out?

This valuable information helps you determine what your customer likes, dislikes, preferences and wishes for “particulars.”  Though comment cards could be your worst enemy when it comes to the contents, it could also become the best thing you ever did for your business, as it is a compass to your success.

Before we close:

1. Did you find this blog informative?

2. Did the author provide enough research to make the point?

3. Are you motivated to get out those comment cards via email, or hand delivery of paper surveys?

4. On your next trip, a rumor suggests that travelers may get a free drink, on the house – if they fill out their comment card…hey, WATER is a drink!