Hotels and tourism simply wouldn’t exist without the positive perceptions of the people who use them. Because of this, it’s vital that establishments can create effective customer satisfaction surveys to identify which areas of their service can be continuously improved, helping to attract more customers now and in the future.
But creating an effective feedback survey isn’t easy, especially for busy hoteliers. Not only do you need to consider how to create customer satisfaction survey questions specific to your hotel or establishment, you also need to consider who should receive your survey, and how to send it, as well as how to collate results.
That’s why we’ve created some top tips and pointers to help, along with a template for you to use at the bottom of this post.
Consider Your Reputation
In hotels and tourism, reputation is what powers continued business success. Your reputation can be affected just as much by a survey you’ve issued as any other aspect of your service, so think carefully about how you can leave your customers with the same (or better) impression of your business after receiving and completing your survey.
Ensure that any questions are clear and relevant, and that language used is clear and relatable. Whether you word it formally or informally will depend a lot on the style of your business.
Consider as well whether you need to incentivize survey responses. It might be that a discount off a future stay, or a free drink at your hotel bar, is a great way not only to ensure you get the feedback you need but also keep your customer base feeling like they consistently get good value from you.
Consider Your Customer
When you’re an establishment that deals with customers from all over the world, new considerations
come into play. How will your customer’s background, culture and nationality affect their perception of your service and your survey? At the least, you will want to ensure that you send surveys in the right language to the right customers.
Think about other customer segments and how they will affect your survey questions too. A business guest will have vastly different needs to a guest staying for a party, and your survey should reflect those differences (for example, asking the business guest if Wi-Fi and conferencing facilities were adequate, or asking the party guest whether the hotel pool or bar were satisfactory.)
When to Ask for Feedback
Where possible, ask for feedback as close to the customer’s experience with you as possible. This will ensure that their experience is fresh in their minds, and the feedback you receive will be more relevant and useful.
Consider where you ask your customers to complete a survey too, as this could be affected by the type of data you want to collect. For example, if you run a booking website, it makes sense to run a survey from the website itself if you’re looking for data on general website experience, whereas if you’re interested in refining the online booking process it would be better to email a survey once a booking has been made.
How Should I Send My Survey?
There are a lot of great software tools out there designed for getting feedback for hotels or tourism businesses – here are some examples of these, along with some more generic tools.
Email is one of the most used forms of gathering customer feedback. While it’s easy to create and send an emailed survey, they can easily be lost or ignored in busy inboxes as customers catch up on their emails after a stay away. Surveys that are poorly optimized for mobile will often be ignored by customers who are on the go.
Sometimes you need to do your customer survey the traditional way where you talk to them directly and get information face to face. Such interviews can give you a deeper insight into your hotel and travel services than survey forms can, but you will have to get it right. Asking customers for feedback in the wrong manner, or at the wrong time, can negatively affect their experience with you.
Experts recommend that you read the attitude of the customer and use open-ended questions attached to incidences during their stay, or when you served them. This can reveal more about their experience at your establishment.
A well-run face-to-face feedback survey can actually enhance guest opinions of your service by showing you as personable, attentive and interested in your guest’s point of view.
How to Administer Customer Feedback Surveys
Collecting information from guests about how you served them and their level of satisfaction is no easy task. That is one of the reasons why many hotel and travel companies choose to hire an external survey company to handle the survey for them.
A lot of things need to be taken into consideration including the number and type of questions to be asked, the model to use and timing. Be sure only to ask relevant questions and avoid leading questions. It can help to begin with yes/no questions to encourage them to continue answering.
Plan a defined process for making sure your customers know how their feedback was dealt with. If a customer provides negative feedback, it’s entirely possible they have done this as they have a genuine desire to see your business improve – in which case, more than just an acknowledgement is required. Where a service has failed, it’s essential that good businesses follow up by explaining to the customer what has been done to make improvements, and to ensure that problems don’t reoccur.
Because of this, plan a way for you to reach out to guests to respond to their comments or concerns, to show that you are listening to their concerns and appreciate them taking the time to help you.
Whatever your method of performing your survey, make sure you include an area for guests to include their contact details if they would like to be contacted about their feedback.
Sample Questions for the Hotel & Travel Industry