Everything You Need to Know About Guest Satisfaction Surveys

Understanding guest feedback has long been central to hospitality because we rely on it to guide us into making impactful, data-driven decisions. Guest satisfaction surveys are an essential tool for hotels to obtain detailed insights into guest expectations and the guest experience, as well as support service recovery. But are you getting the most out of your surveys? Read here everything you need to know about guest surveys to maximize your results.

Why are guest satisfaction surveys important for my hotel?

Guest feedback falls into two main areas: unsolicited, online feedback from reviews, and solicited feedback via guest satisfaction surveys. While online reviews are a great source of data and form the basis of your online reputation, guest surveys offer the possibility of eliciting specific, segmented responses.

Surveys and reviews perfectly complement each other. While online reviews can drive bookings and increase your online reputation, they are free form text, and often lacking in the detail you need. Surveys offer that possibility, with flexible design and question logic, they allow you to ask the questions you want answers to. Online reviews, therefore, can give an indication of a pain point, while surveys can then give you the option to dig deeper into what the possible cause could be.

What Types of Hotel Satisfaction Surveys Are There?

When we asked hoteliers what they used surveys for, the results were overwhelmingly tipped towards guest feedback. But surveys are flexible instruments for hoteliers to use in many ways. A solid guest feedback software solution will allow you to manage and analyze all these types on one central dashboard.

Results of a poll about the use of Guest Satisfaction Survey

Post Stay Guest Surveys : Gain Rich and Detailed Guest Insights

The post stay guest survey is probably the best-known and most popular survey type used by hospitality brands. The survey gets sent after the guest has left the property and usually includes a wide range of questions about the stay and experience. This type of survey can give you a myriad of data: from high-level insights about the overall experience to the nitty-gritty details of different aspects of the guest’s stay, like sleep quality or breakfast.

One of the main advantages of a post stay guest survey is that you can control the focus of your feedback. If you recently installed new in-room technology or piloted a new check-in procedure, you can add questions explicitly soliciting feedback about these recent changes and use that feedback to adjust your operations or service procedures, if need be.

Moreover, many hoteliers also use this survey to measure guest loyalty by using the infamous Net Promoter Score®. The NPS® asks one simple question: how likely are you to recommend our hotel? The score given to that question categorizes your guests then into promoters, detractors, or neutral guests.

Happy guest with a smiley balloon

In-Stay Surveys : Generate Service Recovery Opportunities

Guest feedback, while the guest is still on-property, is an extremely valuable tool. By sending out a quick two-question survey, you can capture any issues, fix them before the guest leaves, and avoid possible negative online reviews. In some cases, it can even boost guest satisfaction, as it shows a proactive attitude and resolute handling of issues, both characteristics which are highly appreciated.

There are a few things to keep in mind when sending out in-stay surveys:

  • Keep it short – you only need to ask for two things: how is their stay going so far, and in case of a low score, ask how you can get in touch.
  • Be mobile-friendly: keep the boom of messaging in mind and consider sending out your in-stay survey through SMS or WhatsApp.
  • Resolute resolutions – Once a guest has reported an issue, it’s vital that you act quickly and decisively upon this feedback. Have the right processes in place so that issues get forwarded to the right people, who will follow up with your guests.

One-Off Surveys : Understand the Needs of your Guests

A one-off survey is a great way to dig into one specific topic, like for example satisfaction levels regarding your loyalty program. You can send a one-time survey to your database with questions specific to the topic you’re interested in.

During the pandemic, this type of survey was used in a new way by hoteliers. Some sent it out before reopening as a one-off market research survey which was used to guide the reopening strategy.

A great example of how to leverage surveys for reopening is the Brazilian hotel chain Blue Tree Hotels. Before opening their doors, they asked their guests what they wanted to see changed at their property. The amazing results then helped them to shape up for their reopening and helped them to market the contactless technology they already had in place.

How can I improve my guest survey results?

Not all surveys generate the same results. Our inboxes get flooded with digital communication, and we’re all dealing with “survey fatigue”. A well-constructed survey can help you to get guests to not only open your survey but also to complete it. Here are five tips on how to optimize your surveys to receive the best results:

Guest Satisfaction Survey

1. Be Inviting

Optimize your invitation email with a catchy subject line and a nice design. Try to keep the email clutter-free with one clear CTA, so that your guests don’t mistake it for a marketing email. You can even embed the question asking for the overall rating, which then guides them to the full survey with the question pre-populated.

2. Mobile-first guest satisfaction surveys

When we analyzed the delivery of our surveys, we noticed that 68% of all surveys were opened on a mobile phone. Keep that in mind when constructing your survey: have a mobile adapted design, include page breaks to avoid endless scrolling, and think of your delivery options. Besides the classic option of email, you can also choose to send a link via SMS or WhatsApp.

3. Short but Relevant

No one has time for endless surveys, they need to be short and relevant. Use question logic, so that guests are only asked follow-up questions when they gave a low rating.

Also, set clear objectives beforehand and build your questions around those objectives. So, when you introduce a new question, ask yourself: Is the data I receive from this question relevant to what I want to obtain with this survey?

4. PMS and CRM integrations

By integrating your PMS data into your survey, you can add personalized questions to your survey, so that, for example, only your guests who visited the spa see the spa-related questions.

Another benefit of integrating your PMS with your survey is that you can drill down into the fine details with your results. Understand what type of clients are not satisfied, what rooms score lower, or if your key corporate clients are happy. This will allow you to better prioritize your improvements.

By integrating with your CRM, you can create rich guest profiles, which will allow you to design better targeted marketing campaigns. You can, for example, send your promoters who aren’t loyalty members yet an invitation to become a member.

5. Integrate with a Case Management System

With a case management system, you can assign cases when issues come up. This not only increases staff efficiency, as staff will follow up in a more timely and structured manner, but it also gives you deeper insight into these issues. How often do they come up? How are they handled? What are the root causes?

Find out more about ReviewPro’s Guest Satisfaction Surveys solution:

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