Endless Surveys versus The Ultimate Question

During my last vacation I stayed at the Holiday Inn Grand Canyon (surprisingly nice, by the way!).  When I got back, I got a couple of emails asking me to fill out a survey.  I’m a nice guy, so I complied.  Page 1, 8 questions.  Then page 2, page 3, page 4 … question after question … my eyes are glazing over, guys.

In his book The Ultimate Question, author Fred Reichheld states that the only truly important question was whether my product or service was good enough to lead you to recommend me to a friend.  Now arguably a complex service such as hospitality needs a little more granularity (quality of lodging/quality of service/quality of food, for instance) – but surely a 15 page survey (I’m not kidding) is overkill – isn’t it?

I asked the question, “What is the optimal length of a customer satisfaction survey?”  on LinkedIn – we’ll see what the networkers on that site report.