Feedback from your campers’ families will help your business evolve and improve. Unfortunately, collecting that feedback can be a complicated and confusing process.
Families need guidance to give you the opinions that matter, whether they’re negative or positive. In this article, we will review some of our favorite pointers for gathering meaningful feedback from summer camp families. Use these as a springboard for building your own surveys and feedback methods.
Pre- and post-camp surveys
You want to understand family expectations before camp to better judge feedback after camp. Create both pre- and post-camp surveys for families, and make sure the questions connect.
For example, ask parents in the pre-camp survey if they went to camp when they were younger. Did they enjoy it? What did they like/dislike about it? How does that inform what they expect from their child’s camp today?
In the post-camp survey, ask how they think their child’s camp experience compared with their own. Looking at the pre- and post-camp answers side by side will give you an interesting picture of a family’s expectations, the reason for those expectations, and how your camp did or did not meet those expectations.
Clear rating systems with standardized answers
Some open-ended questions are okay, but most of your feedback should be gathered through short questions with a standardized answer or rating system. This makes it easier to quantify results rather than struggle to compare qualitative answers.
One way to do this is to establish standardized answers in the beginning of your feedback survey. Families could rank statements from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).
You could also write survey questions in a multiple-choice format with more detail than the number system. Here’s an example:
How does your family feel about the quality of recreational activities provided at camp?
- Great! I can tell my child enjoyed activities at camp.
- Good. My child seems to have had fun during camp activities.
- Fine. My child had no complaints about activities at camp.
- Not good. My child has actively complained about camp activities.
- Other: _____________________
These types of questions are definitely more time-consuming to write, but also give parents or guardians more context and the option to write their own answers.
Incentivize completed survey results
Completed feedback surveys are very valuable to your business, and you should treat them as such. Consider rewarding families who finish their surveys with gift cards or having a raffle for which you must give feedback to enter.
If budget is a problem, it’s always an option to make a few short survey questions part of both intake forms and checkout forms. This way, it’s built into the required forms.
Follow up on very negative and very positive responses
Negative feedback results (as painful as they may be) are an important part of your camp’s growth. Reach out to families who rated your camp poorly and ask if they would like to elaborate. The more detail you can get, the more effectively you can make impactful changes to your camp structure.
Similarly, positive results are important for knowing what your camp is doing right. Follow up with families who left glowing feedback to gain more insight into what’s going well. You could also ask permission to quote their responses in a case study or testimonial section of your website.