There are many best practices one can take with Post-Stay Surveys. These practices primarily focus on driving responses to your Post-Stay Surveys, things to consider when composing your survey, and also how to check your survey performance and optimize.
How to drive responses to your Post-Stay Surveys
Driving responses to your survey is heavily influenced by the emails you send to your guests, keep these metrics in mind to help drive responses to your surveys:
- Delivery Rates
- Delivery % identifies the percentage of emails delivered over all emails sent. To increase your delivery rate, be proactive in building your guest list. During the check-in process, make an effort to collect the guest's email directly.
- Validate your emails before uploading your guest list. If you cross-reference your guest list prior to uploading, you could possibly remove incorrect email addresses and increase the number of valid contacts.
- Open Rates
- Opened % (aka Open Rate) is the percentage of emails that are opened over the number of emails successfully delivered. This metric doesn't include bounces and unsubscribes. Consider your subject line in order to increase open rates and do not include any sort of promotional materials in the subject line.
- Adjust your delivery schedule to the industry standard of 2 - 3 days after check out. This timing gives the guest a chance to get home and provide their insights, as opposed to while still traveling.
- Click Rates
- Clicked % identifies the percentage of guests who received the survey invite email and clicked the link divided the number of emails that were opened. To drive your click rates, you must optimize your invitation email. The primary goal of the email is to have the guest click the link. (If you notice that your "Completed" amount of surveys is higher than your "Clicked" amount of surveys, this is likely due to the fact that reminder emails are turned on. We currently do not show email engagement stats for your reminder emails. Hence, a user might click the reminder email, fill out the survey but never engage with the invite email - thus allowing for higher completed surveys than clicked surveys.)
- Make the survey link the focus on the email, separate it from the rest of the text. Keep the email itself short and simple, in addition, mention that the survey itself will not take more than 5 - 10 minutes. Lastly, avoid poor image quality in your header photo.
- Completion Rates
- Completion Rates looks at the combination of (a) number of guests who completed the entire survey and submitted a review (b) guests who just completed at least the required questions within the "internal" page of the survey - this total number is divided by the number of emails sent will get you the "completed %.". To optimize your completion rate, be sure to follow all of the best practices above. In addition, keep your survey format and custom questions in mind.
Considerations for your Survey
Create a survey that is the right length. Aim for a survey that takes about 5 - 10 minutes to complete and ideally keep your survey below 25 questions total. Any more than this and we notice response rates decline.
Check your reporting. If you notice that a particular question is not receiving feedback, ask yourself why? Are these questions really relevant to the guest experience? Is it redundant of other questions in the survey?
Create a logical flow for the Survey that follows the guest experience process. For example, below is a logical survey custom question format by topic.
- Reservation Experience
- Check-In Experience
- Rooms Experience
- Restaurant/Food and Beverage
- Check-Out Experience
Overall this would create a more logical and simple experience for the guest to provide their feedback.
Considerations for questions
In regards to your actual questions, try to keep these practices in mind when composing your survey.
- Keep them simple and to the point. Avoid long-winded questions that can be confused or misinterpreted by your guests.
- Frame your questions in an objective manner.
- Do not pose your questions in a favorable light to your hotel, instead of asking “How did you find our state of the art check-in system?”, simply ask “How was your check-in experience?”
- Do not use industry jargon in your Survey. For example, instead of using terms like “OTA” refer to them as “Third Party Booking Site”
- Avoid the double negative in your questions. Design your questions so that the guest aims to provide a positive response.
- Ask only a single question at a time.
- Make your questions actionable. Remember, you will be using this feedback to create improvement in your operations. If you receive an answer to a question, what can you do with the feedback? How do you plan to act upon it and improve your operations?
To review, our best practices:
- Remember to check your reporting in your Survey Administration area. Review your Email Stats and the Reporting page to check your progress.
- Identify where to optimize based upon your unique scores.
- Remember the key to driving responses to your surveys is to optimize your email system.
- Finally, make sure to use your survey feedback with the Sentiment Analysis report to learn from your feedback, improve your operations, and start the cycle again.