Today, the hotel industry is a truly competitive environment. Individual hotels are constantly competing and impressing their visitors with modern conveniences. Well, as much as their budget will allow. So what to invest in and what not to invest in? Take advice from your customers.
In this article, we explain why customer satisfaction is extremely essential in the hotel industry. We'll show how online surveys can help you find out what your customers think of you and if they are satisfied as you want them to be. You'll learn a simple way to collect data and use it to determine what to focus on.
Besides online surveys, hotel owners can also use reviews on various comparison platforms or Google as feedback. However, they often lack detailed information that can help them discover hidden pain points. The number of stars in the rating alone is not sufficiently telling. It is not possible to make very precise decisions based on 'likes' or 'dislikes'. One would still be improvising.
A well-designed online questionnaire, however short and concise, will lead us to detailed information that will reveal exactly what we need to improve to keep customers coming back. Well, that's what we need most - returning customers.
What can the online survey be used for in the hotel industry?
In the hotel industry, you can conduct a survey in many situations:
Market research: are you starting a new hotel? Market research can help you determine whether there is a market for you - whether your target group is large enough to drive your revenue. You can find out where it would be appropriate to locate the hotel and what facilities it will need to succeed among competing hotels. You can read a special use case: How to Create a Market Research Survey.
Surveying before check-in: the customer experience starts long before a guest even arrives at your hotel. You can ask your guests a few days before arrival about their expectations and whether they have any dietary restrictions. Some hotels are environmentally friendly and give guests the choice of whether they want to change towels and other amenities every day or whether they don't need to. You can also ask this in the survey beforehand.
Short questioning during the stay: you can continuously monitor whether everything is OK with the client. Ask if the client is satisfied with the services or if there is anything missing. If you are serious about customer satisfaction, you need to be ready to respond quickly to any requests in the questionnaire. This is the only way to make your guest feel that you really care about them.
Evaluation of hotel services after the client's departure: ask the client to evaluate the areas where you are most hesitant. The questionnaire needs to be brief, so don't ask about things you already know. You can explore how the guest felt at the hotel in general, whether they found everything in the building in place or how the staff interacted with them.
You can take your survey once or repeatedly. Even a one-off survey will give you valuable data. However, data from a longer period of time is even more valuable for subsequent decisions. By conducting the survey repeatedly, you can track how customer preferences change over time. Maybe you'll find some seasonal changes in guest behavior, maybe their purpose of travel changes throughout the year. You can adapt your service and your communication to this.
How to improve customer experience in hotels
Before we dive into survey design and questions, we bring some smart tips on how to elevate your services to the next level. You can draw on them when you make new decisions based on the data from your survey.
Personalization - make every guest feel that it's about them
Your efforts do not have to be expensive. You don't have to renovate the entire lobby right away to make your guests' stay more enjoyable. Do the little things:
Everybody likes free stuff - chocolates under the pillow or a bottle of wine as a welcome gift.
How about a free shuttle to the city center or the airport?
Prepare tips on what to see in the area on a leaflet.
Families among your guests? Prepare toys for the kids.
Did your guest have a long journey? Offer them a free refreshing cold drink on their return.
Remember information about your repeated guests and use it on their next visit. Offer them something better based on what they were dissatisfied with last time.
Send out a detailed pre-arrival email to your guests. It can make their arrival and check-in process much smoother.
It won't cost you much and it will make your guests happy. Perhaps they will share your helpfulness on social media.
Technology - what was yesterday's novelty is today's standard
People like to stay connected. Free wi-fi is not a nice-to-have, it is a must. Hotel apps are becoming a trend. Guests can open their room doors with their mobile phones. They can use the app to call the staff or send them a message via messenger.
In large cities, a fully equipped conference room or auditorium is often in demand. It must meet the requirements of modern events. Data projectors, screens, software for virtual meetings, interactive TVs - if you have it, you can compete in today's fast-paced market.
Staff - a smile does more than luxury furniture
Take care of your employees. In order for them to smile at your guests, they need to feel good about themselves. Reward them adequately for their work and form a team with them, taking their feedback into account.
Give them the training they need to become true professionals who will give your hotel a competitive advantage.
Before you start surveying
Define the goal of your survey. Write down information that you want to find out. Decide if you are going to survey all of your guests or only a specific group. Choose people who will carry out your surveys and care for implementing strategic changes that will result from the survey. By all of that we want to say: Don’t start with creating concrete questions, start with a plan. The questions in the survey will then reflect your survey objectives.
Hotel satisfaction survey questions
How friendly were the hotel staff members?
Were you satisfied with the way the housekeeping staff cleaned your room before you arrived?
Have you always reached our staff without any problems?
Don’t be afraid to use matrix questions. They make your survey shorter and clearer as they group more questions together. The rating scale is also called the Likert scale.
Questions about the hotel environment
What would help you make your time in the hotel more pleasant?
How did you feel in the environment of the hotel restaurant?
Is there anything else you would like to see in the outdoor area of the hotel?
How well did you sleep in your room?
Did the quality of service and accommodation correspond to the price per night?
How would you rate the interior of our hotel?
Was the check-in process quick enough?
Did you find your way around the hotel building?
Did you get all the information you needed about your accommodation before you arrived?
Net Promoter Score
How likely would you recommend our hotel to your friends or relatives?
Net Promoter Score (NPS) is the direct way to find out how loyal your customers/clients really are. A Net Promoter Score is a telling metric that is quite easy to interpret. We have prepared a whole use case dedicated to Net Promoter Score.
Tip: Pay attention when choosing a question type. Choosing the wrong question type can ruin the validity of the data. Be careful especially when considering single choice and multiple choice. The data evaluation is different. To make sure you don't make a mistake, we recommend that you read the article How to use closed-ended questions correctly.
Another useful question type is an open-ended text question. This type of question is most useful when we want to find out detailed information, especially attitudes, opinions and moods of your respondents. However, when evaluating open-ended questions, you have to go through each answer individually. We recommend sticking to this rule: If it is possible to use a closed-ended question, do it. Only when you would lose the coveted piece of information by using a closed-ended question, return to the open-ended one.
All questions are fully editable, you can add or delete answers, set up a condition of obligatory question, add an image or video, choose the format of the answer (e-mail, number, date, text). Watch the video and see how easy and intuitive the survey builder is.
How can you collect answers from your guests?
Reach guests on the channels they naturally use to communicate. You can share your survey:
Each way of collecting responses is suitable for a different situation. Surveying before the arrival or after the departure of your guests is a great opportunity to use bulk e-mail invitations. When you want to ask the guests during their stay in the hotel, you can either share a link to the survey with them (through your hotel app for example) or you can simply provide them with free wi-fi and post a QR code on the wall in their room.
Result analysis at your service
You don't have to wait to collect results from all guests. You can watch the survey unfold in real time. Survio generates the results automatically in clear tables and charts. You can filter summary results and also individual answers, change the type of chart, create pivot tables.
You can download your results as a report in one click (PDF, DOCX, PPTX, XLSX, CSV or Google Sheets) get ready to present ascertained data to your colleagues in an instant.
It is time to create your own survey!
Be proactive. Don't wait for a client’s complaint. Find out through your online survey what wishes your guests have and meet them if possible. This approach will show your guests that you are one step ahead, that you are willing to go the extra mile. Next time, they won't be choosing a hotel, they'll call you straight away.