Getting guests to fill in post-stay guest surveys is not always easy. People have email overload, and often have little spare time for anything that is not urgent.
So how do you convince them to complete your survey? The completion (or conversion) rate for guest satisfaction surveys is heavily affected by the format and content of the initial request email as well as the design of the survey itself. You may have the most beautiful survey on the planet, but more than half the battle is getting guests to open it.
The good news is that there are practical steps and measures you can take to optimize survey completion rates. Here ReviewPro’s Customer Success team draws from their experience helping thousands of hotels and restaurants to share insider tips for creating high-impact surveys.
1. Nail the subject line. The subject line has a strong effect on the open rate for survey request emails; it is the first gatekeeper. Keep it short and genuine, such as, “Your opinion is important to us” or “At (Hotel Name), your opinion counts.” Consistency is key, so match the tone to your brand.
2. Check that domain. Is the email sender showing as your survey provider or your property domain name? Emails that originate from the hotel domain name are more likely to be opened.
3. Perfect personalization. Emails with the guest’s name in the subject line are more often opened; you can configure this with your survey provider. Similarly, sign emails from a member of staff (such as a manager in the quality department or the general manager). The sender should include their email and telephone number and, for added personalization, a photo.
4. Keep an eye on content. Your email should be concise, to the point and professional, but not overly formal. It also helps to say how long the survey will take to complete—such as “just a few minutes.” Avoid adding additional external links as this can lead guests away from the survey.
5. Mind your language. Guest surveys can be configured to detect the language of the guest through integration with your PMS. Be aware, however, that surveys sent in foreign languages will receive responses in the same language. Even if your guest survey provider has a semantic translation tool, if staff don’t have the linguistic skills to reply back, it may be best to stick to your native language.
6. Design, not default. Visual appeal goes a long way. Personalize headers, colors and fonts, customize signatures and even add GIFs with flexible email design. Simple, clean mails that are in line with company branding and image perform best. Don’t write large blocks of text. Include a friendly call to action with the link to the survey such us “Take our survey” or “super-fast survey”.
7. Optimize the timing. The optimal sending times depend on your market and guest types. For business guests you will want to catch them while still on the go, so send as soon as possible after checkout. For longer-stay guests, especially at resorts, allow 1 to 2 days for the guest to arrive home before the survey reaches them. In any case, it is essential that you test the efficacy of your guest surveys and tweak the timing to maximize your conversion rate.
8. Don’t forget to follow up. Have a management response strategy in place to ensure that both positive and negative survey comments receive an individual reply from staff. A typical goal could be responding to 100% of negative comments and 50% of positive comments.
9. Provide excellent service at your hotel. One of the most powerful things you can do to increase survey completion rates is exceed guest expectations. If guests feel welcomed and cared for by staff, they will be more likely to return the favor by taking the time to complete your survey.