Post-stay surveys are an investment in time for both hoteliers and guests. Before you hastily throw together a bunch of questions, you should know that there’s a science to developing surveys that will yield the data and insights that you need to improve your operations and drive customer loyalty. To help you make your survey as effective as possible, we’ve put together a list of nine best practices, based on the experience and data of our customers.
1. Have a Goal
Before you create your questions, think about what you are trying to learn from your guests and how you will use the data. Perhaps you’re looking for data to support a capital improvement or are looking to understand where to focus training resources. Use your goal to help you prioritize the questions you ask. Once you have the data you need, it’s ok to change the questions to focus on a new goal.
2. Keep it Short - - 20 Questions or so
52% of customers say they would not spend more than five minutes to complete a survey. Respect your guests’ time by keeping your survey short - - less than 20 questions.
When we look at our customers’ surveys, on average, luxury hotels asked 19 questions, midscale hotels asked 17 questions, and economy hotels asked 5 questions. Your survey will naturally be longer if you have amenities, such as a spa and multiple restaurants. We start to see a decline in completion rate if you are asking over 25 questions. Regardless of the segment, the shorter the survey, the better. For luxury and midscale, we recommend you use conditional questions to make surveys less cumbersome.
A good survey is long enough to harvest useful information, but not so long as to bore customers into abandoning it.
3. Make it Easy -- for You and Your Guests
No one wants to answer long-form questions. Instead, use rating, multiple-choice and yes/no questions. These questions are easier for respondents to answer and provide you with quantitative data to use in your analysis. At the end of your survey, you can also include a couple of open-ended questions, as needed. Here are some of our most popular:
How would you rate the speed and efficiency of our staff?
How would you rate the knowledge of our Concierge services?
How was the atmosphere and comfort of your room?
How was the checkin/checkout process?
How easy was it to locate the hotel?
How did you hear about us? (Online Review Site, Referred by a Friend, Travel Magazine, Booking Site)
Which of our hotel services did you use? (Laundry, Valet, In-Room Dining, Fitness Center, Business Center, N/A)
Why did you choose to book with us? (Location, Value, Reputation, Service)
How many times have you traveled to the area? (First Time, 2 - 5 times, 6 - 10 times, 10+)
Did you experience exemplary service during your stay?
Did an attendant assist you with your luggage during arrival and departure?
Were you greeted by name during your stay?
Were your accommodations prepared in line with your reservation?
Was your billing information accurate and complete?
If any employee made your stay extra special please provide their name here.
What could we have done better to improve your stay?
What did we do well?
What other services or amenities would you like to see us have?
4. One Topic at a Time
Don’t ask for feedback on two separate things within a single question. Here’s an example:
“How would you rate the food and atmosphere of our restaurant?”
Instead, ask two separate questions or just ask one, depending on your survey goals.
5. Syndicate Survey Feedback
Luckily, as a Revinate customer, you don’t have to choose between asking your guests to complete a survey or write a review. Send your guests an invitation to complete the survey and syndicate the review directly to TripAdvisor or Google. If you’re also looking for social media feedback you can also include your social media links on your survey thank you page.
6. Use Benchmarks to Optimize Performance
If only 5% of your guests are completing the survey, you need to work on your survey design. To help you understand how well your survey is performing, compare your completion rate to these averages:
Global Average 17.50%
7. Send a Reminder Email
Sometimes guests need a reminder email to push them to complete a survey. Hotels that send a reminder email to receive an average completion rate of 18.85% versus 15.08% for hotels that only ask once.
8. Be Quick
To receive the highest completion rate, send your survey within 24 hours of guest checkout. Hotels that send the survey out within 24 hours receive an average completion rate of 18.08%. Those that wait four days get an average completion rate of 7.63%.
9. Nighttime is the Right Time
Completion rates are highest for survey requests sent between 9pm and 12am (19.96%) and 5pm and 8pm (19.15%). Completion rates are lowest for requests sent between 1am and 4am (9.93%). Try sending your survey at different times and see how you can improve your completion rate.
Like any digital communication, you should test, measure and optimize to get the highest completion rate. Looking for help setting up your survey or want more information about Revinate Guest Feedback? Shoot us a note. We would love to help.