Hotels rely on satisfied, returning customers to succeed. But what’s the most effective way to understand what a guest is looking for? How can you unlock the valuable details of a traveller’s motivations and experiences? The simple solution is a customer satisfaction survey. Consider the following tips to craft a user-friendly post-stay survey that will ensure your customers keep coming back.
Determine Your Goals
First, consider what you want to achieve from your survey. Besides learning about your customers as well as any major problems with your operations or service, you might also want to know how to combat seasonal dips by asking guests what motivates or discourages them from travelling. Or maybe you’re wondering whether or not a more robust mobile strategy would resonate with your clientele. Once you know your goals, you can take a focused and strategic approach to how you shape your questions.
Whether you’re sending an email survey or leaving paper copies available at your front desk (or both), tell guests why you’re asking for their opinions. In your survey, offer a brief introductory paragraph explaining that their comments will be used to improve both their experiences and those of other guests. By highlighting how you’ll use their feedback to cater to your guest’s preferences, your customers will feel more comfortable completing the survey candidly.
Use Clear and Simple Language
For example, instead of “exceptional” or “excellent,” ask if a customer’s stay exceeded their expectations or if they would recommend your hotel to others. Also, avoid double negatives and any unfamiliar words—even “property” might not mean much to the average traveller, so be sure to define your terms.
Choose Strategically Relevant Questions
If you can imagine how you might turn the response into a smart marketing tactic or an improvement in your operations, then you know you’re on the right track. For example, if you’re asking how a customer would rate the speed of check-in and they respond that it’s too slow, you can look for ways to improve your check-in process (by increasing front desk staff at busy times, for example).
Include Both Ranking and Open-Ended Questions
Numerical ranking questions will allow you to analyze results easily and track changes over time, while open-ended questions will allow your respondents to describe their preferences in their own words.
Order Questions Logically
Put the most important questions at the top. For example, ask about overall rating or changes you plan to implement first, so you don’t risk losing crucial data if a respondent drops off halfway through.
Keep Your Surveys Up-to-Date
If you’ve added a new offering to your property, be sure to include it in your list of questions. If you’re worried about the effect of a new competitor in your city, consider asking why a guest might choose one hotel over another.
Offer an Incentive
Research suggests an incentive can improve response rates by up to three times. To encourage your guests to complete the survey, you might want to offer them entry into a draw for a spa prize or free membership into a VIP member program. Offering an incentive also emphasizes how much you value your guests’ opinions.
A customer satisfaction survey is one of the most important tactics to developing a strategic, targeted hotel management strategy. Treat it as such, and the feedback you get in return will make it well worth the investment.
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