Not a Happy Camper

The recent warm weather has made me yearn to get away from the clamour and oppressiveness of the city which brought to mind my most recent trip to the coast.

We stayed in a campervan at a campsite in Devon and, on returning home after the weekend, I received a survey about my recent stay.

As a happy and repeat visitor of the campsite, I was dismayed to note how illogical and irrelevant the survey was and consequently, how badly this reflected on the campsite. The company came across as insular and seemed to completely fail to examine and address any potential issues. In an industry that needs tourism, both domestic and from abroad, this could be potentially fatal.

I stumbled at the first question, to the point that I couldn’t continue the survey. I was asked which type of holiday I took though ‘campervan’ wasn’t a permissible answer. Presumably, this business doesn’t value the feedback from campervan owners - shame.

Looking at the remaining questions, it didn’t get better.

If you stated that you wouldn’t visit there again, there wasn’t any further investigation of that opinion. The poorly written survey appeared to demonstrate that this company was uninterested in customers who wouldn’t visit again, for whatever reason.

Obviously, visitors may not return because they are from foreign shores and simply will not visit the region again, or for a variety of other reasons, not necessarily due to a poor experience of the campsite. Even if the visitor were unhappy enough not to visit again, gaining the key reasons why and attempting a customer save, should be a key motivation for operating a survey in the first place.

However, the survey continued to ask me what I felt about the weather (I’m not joking) and my views on another seven facilities I could have no view on, but to which I was not permitted to answer “Not Applicable”.

Overall the campsite is nice, I may visit there again, but I wonder what the future has in store for businesses such as these. I’m sure that a demonstrable inability to engage and establish the truth about the feelings of your existing customers, cannot be helpful in guiding future decisions in the turbulent years ahead.

It may be unfashionable to say this, but perhaps they need an ‘expert’ to help them.