Go Ahead, Reach Out: Hotel Surveys Increase Review Scores & Volume
A hotelier once expressed resistance to me regarding post-stay guest surveys; he said it risked the hotel becoming a nuisance. Of course, he was of the more old-fashioned hotelier variety, but I suspect this isn’t all that uncommon. I suggested that he reconsider surveys as a guest service rather than a request—and they really can be, when presented the right way.
TrustYou has touted the benefits of surveys for some time now, knowing there’s a reward to hotels reaching out proactively for guest feedback. Just the act of sending a survey lets guests know you care, and when surveys are sent within 48 hours of departure, guests are still fresh on the experience, making them better able and, perhaps, more willing to give feedback.
In the interest of demonstrating this point, we studied hotels that use TrustYou surveys. And the results were substantial.
First, hotels that use TrustYou surveys gain many more reviews. For most hotels, TrustYou survey reviews account for about 25-30% of their total volume of reviews.
Second, survey reviews have significantly higher scores than reviews from other sources.
Average Score Based on All Review Sources: 75
Average TrustYou Survey Score: 83
*Significance was tested using a t-test at a 95% Confidence Interval
Third, there is less variance in the scores of survey reviews compared to all other review sources, meaning that hotels are less likely to get extremely biased reviews when using TrustYou Surveys. (For those of you who like to geek out on statistics: standard deviation for TrustYou survey reviews was 11.87, standard deviation for all other review platforms was 22.6).
There are several important takeaways.
1). More Reviews = Better Search Engine Rankings
Hotels using TrustYou surveys have significantly more reviews, and the search engines eat this up. Search engine algorithms are fine tuned to pick up nuances in score and number of reviews. In search world dominated by OTAs, this can make the difference in whether a hotel appears for its own brand.
2). More Reviews = Increased Confidence with Travelers
The volume of reviews influences the level of trust a traveler has in the feedback. The difference between a hotel that has 300 reviews and a hotel that has 3,000 reviews is noticeable unless scores are the highest of the high.
3). Higher Rankings (Enough Said!)
Anything that pushes up rankings is pure gold for hotels in this day and age when 95% of travelers use reviews to make a booking decision. TrustYou surveys easily integrate with your website and can be pushed out to third-party travel sites to help drive higher rankings exactly where you need them.
4). Surveys = Guiding the Conversation
On review sites, the traveler controls the conversation; in a survey scenario, the hotel guides the conversation. Choosing which questions to ask and how they are asked can influence the way travelers recall their experiences and how they respond. Actionable feedback is still the goal, but framing a survey so that it taps into a traveler’s positive experiences at the very beginning makes sense.