The Experience Survey

Any time a researcher or decision-maker needs to gain greater insight into a particular problem, he or she is likely to question knowledgeable individuals about it. This is usually done through an informal, free-flowing conversation with anyone who is believed to be able to shed light on the question both within the organization and outside it. Such an approach is referred to as an experience survey. It is only meant to help formulate the problem and clarify concepts, not develop conclusive evidence.

People seen as providing the insight necessary are not only found in the top ranks of an organization or amongst its "professional" staff, but can also involve front line employees. Who else, for instance, is better placed to comment on recurring complaints from guests? In an experience survey, respondents are not selected randomly nor are they representative of the organization or department within which they work. Rather, they are knowledgeable, articulate and thoughtful individuals.

Related Readings (Zikmund, W.G. (1997). Exploring Marketing Research, 6th edition. Orlando: The Dryden Press)