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How to Use Surveys for a Better Guest Experience

Better Guest Experience

Simply asking questions of your guests can offer a goldmine of information and can allow you to catch and correct issues in real-time.

The statistics on unhappy customers are enough to give any hotel operator bad dreams. About seven out of eight dissatisfied customers won’t recommend a company to family and friends due to their issue. Almost one in five want to publicly air their grievance. Even worse, more than 90 percent of unhappy customers never complain to the company.

The solution? Guest surveys allow you to catch issues in real-time and get the feedback you may otherwise miss. They give you a chance to fix a current guest’s problem and prevent the same issue from irking others in the future.

Fortunately, hospitality technology makes it easier than ever to unobtrusively solicit feedback from your guests at different points during their stay. This can take various forms and doesn’t always require a time commitment from a guest.

Here are 4 ways you can use formal (and informal) surveys to improve your guest experience:

  1. Use tablets to capture quick feedback. You can use tablets in guest rooms and in the lobby to grab guest feedback at the moment. For example, some hotel room tablets allow guests to touch an emoji to rate their satisfaction with the state of the room at check-in or after a cleaning service – much like the tablets you may have seen outside airport restrooms. Tablets can be useful for catching and correcting issues at the moment. Dirty rooms were the top reason (41%) for guests to rate a hotel stay as a negative experience, according to data from Deloitte. So catching this problem and correcting it can turn a bad stay into a good one. You can also use tablets at the point of checkout to ask guests to complete a quick survey about their stay.
  2. Let the digital concierge ask the questions. If you have an app or use chatbot or virtual concierge technology, this can be a convenient way to gather quick feedback from guests on the go. Use this technology to check in at key points in the stay, such as right after check-in. Offer an easy way to report a problem. Ask how the stay is going so far and if the guest has any comments on how it could be improved. Then use the feedback to correct any issues in the moment and improve the guest experience in the future.
  3. Train staff to do verbal check-ins when the moment is right. This is a quick, easy and old-fashioned way to show guests you care and offer them the opportunity to raise an issue or ask a question. This can be as simple as a front desk staff member, housekeeper or breakfast attendant saying, “Good morning, how’s your stay going? Is there anything we can do to make it better?” This can also make staff seem friendlier and more engaged with guests. And the Deloitte survey found “friendly staff” to be the number one factor (44%) influencing a guest to rate a hotel stay as a positive one.
  4. Use an email survey. A standard post-checkout email survey is still a great way to gather customer feedback. While you can’t fix a problem after checkout, you can reach out to a dissatisfied customer to try to make the situation right, and possibly head off a bad review. One advantage of email surveys is that they allow you to gather more nuanced and detailed responses that can be very helpful in spotting issues and creating a better hotel experience overall. The key to getting responses is to send the survey right away: research shows guest willingness to take a survey is highest either right at checkout or within a few days afterward.

And remember, if you’re going to go to the effort of surveying your guests, it’s important to create a system for aggregating and analyzing all that data you collect from various sources, including staff members. This way, you can spot patterns and identify ways to make improvements in your service.