Park and recreation agencies that receive constructive feedback from both the users of park facilities and services and from the general public are likely to deliver offerings that are most relevant to local needs. Making decisions based on community feedback leads to higher quality park and recreation amenities and programming attuned to local needs. Highly engaged and satisfied residents are your agency’s greatest advocates. They not only will encourage their family, friends and neighbors to use your agency’s amenities, but also will push local political leaders to support greater and more stable funding for your agency’s operations.  

Customer feedback surveys also lead to more effective and engaged park and recreation staff. Building robust feedback loops help your team to identify ways to deliver more satisfying experiences. Just as importantly, your agency staff can see positive feedback on their hard work. This feedback also gives your staff an opportunity to celebrate their successes. 

Thanks to online survey tools, it is now easier — and cost-effective — to conduct customer feedback surveys. But successful surveys are more than just entering a bunch of questions into an online survey template. What questions you ask — and how you reach out to survey respondents — can have a significant impact on how effective your feedback surveys will be.

What is the Purpose of this Resource?

Obtaining frequent, high-quality customer feedback is challenging for many park and recreation agencies, especially those with resource constraints. This guide outlines key principles of conducting effective customer satisfaction surveys with a focus on being able to act on the results while keeping your agency’s time, money, staffing and current survey skills in mind.

This resource focuses on four steps to follow when collecting high-quality, relevant, time-sensitive feedback:  

Step 1: Set The Survey Goals

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What do you want to achieve with the survey? What information do you most need to glean from the survey results? Based on those results, what actions will you take?

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Step 2: Create The Survey

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Design a survey questionnaire so that responses provide you with actionable results. At the same time, participating in the survey should be a high-quality customer experience. Keep the questions (and the survey as a whole) short and to the point.

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Step 3: Conduct The Survey

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Identify the survey method that best suits your needs. Look for tips on how to achieve a high response rate.

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Step 4: Use The Data

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Use the feedback you receive both inside and outside your organization to improve your agency and its programming, as well as celebrate and broadcast successes.

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