Getting the most from your surveys: 5 tips to gain more feedback

Last week, we made the case that surveys = reviews, meaning that savvy hoteliers can use their own guest satisfaction surveys to gain higher ratings, higher rankings, better SEO, and more visibility to those researching where to stay. With so many important metrics resting on survey feedback, here are some quick tips to get the most responses from your surveys.

1. Keep them short
Let’s face it; most people are happy to give their feedback, but aren’t interested in spending a lot of time doing it - we all have busy lives and fairly limited attention spans. When surveys are too long, you risk losing feedback for a variety of reasons: natural drop-off, boredom, and in worst cases, annoyance (guests don’t like to feel like their time is being wasted).

To avoid irritating guests, try keeping surveys short by only asking a handful of necessary questions that you want answered. The optimum time that it should take a guest to complete the survey is around 6-10 minutes. Some will stick around for 11-15 minutes, but longer than that, and response rates drop sharply. To ensure your survey is not too long, try taking it yourself to gauge timing and adjust as needed to keep within the 6-10 minute time frame.

2. Consider your audience
Questions in the survey should be clear, concise, and specific. Write in a conversational tone and avoid using industry jargon that may confuse your guests. If your least informed guest might not understand the question, rewrite it.

3. Develop the right flow
Write surveys with a flow that makes logical sense to guests. Start with broad, easy questions like, “How was your overall stay?” These questions make the most sense at the beginning and help guests ease in to the survey. Then, move to more specific questions about their stay. Finish the survey with any demographic/personal questions that you may need answered. If you ask these questions, make sure to explain why, and give guests the opportunity to leave these answers blank.

4. Visualize
Visuals make a survey more fun to take. Adding in pictures and corporate branding is a great start. To really turn the surveys into something special, try making the questions themselves visual by incorporating different question formats and visual response buttons. This will keep guests engaged throughout the entire survey, so you gain more feedback.

5. Reward and incentivize
Incentives always help to raise response rates. Guests enjoy getting something in return for their time, even if it is something small, like extra rewards points or a free drink during their next stay. If you can afford to offer a reward to all guests that complete your surveys, do it! If not, consider a monthly drawing for guests who give feedback.

Tony Ciccarone

Tony Ciccarone is a web developer who is experienced in making high-quality professional websites, writing clean & reusable code, and creating data-driven web applications.

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