As an accommodation provider, travelers choose your property over others for a reason. Some travelers are strictly interested in price. Are you offering the cheapest rate at the time they’re traveling? Then they’ll probably book with you, or your competitor, no matter what special amenities your hotel offers.
Others are looking for character in a place. Something about your property appealed to them. Maybe it was the age of the building. Maybe they enjoyed the theme or decor they saw in the photos.
Other people will be looking for properties within a certain distance from an attraction.
No matter what the reason, people have a purpose in choosing your accommodation over another. You can craft a plan to reach out to your future guests better when you ask your current guests to complete a survey. Their answers will form several marketing strategies.
There are many opportunities for you conduct a guest survey. Here are some pros and cons to each:
After purchase, before stay
You don’t want anything to distract someone from finishing their booking with you. After a guest has booked their room, you can inquire why they chose your property in your email follow-up sequence. This will probably have a low response rate and needs to be handled delicately.
It's likely a better option to conduct a guest survey throughout the stay .
During their stay
Include a survey form in the information packet in their room. Offer an immediate incentive, such as a discount to your in-house restaurant. Other incentives could be a dollar amount for room service or discounted tickets to a local attraction.
Make it as easy as possible for them to claim the incentive, such as asking to hand in the survey to the restaurant staff for their discount. The survey should be three questions or less so it doesn’t appear like work.
If your property employs a messaging service or app to communicate to guests during their stay, you can conduct a guest survey with incentives through this service as well.
At the end of their stay
Your front desk clerk can conduct the guest survey during the checkout process. Besides the generic questions of, "How did you enjoy your stay?" and "Is there anything the property can do to improve in the future?" you'll want to include two or three other questions for the staff to ask.
These don't have to be involved. Simple questions like, "How did you find us?" and "Would you recommend us to a friend?"
If they say they are willing to recommend you, ask them to leave a review on TripAdvisor.
If your property offers checkout via in-room means, ask the guest is she's willing to complete a short survey at that time. Many people choose in room checkout as a faster option. To avoid frustration, make it obvious the survey is quick and optional.
After their stay
The final time to ask survey questions is after the guest has left your property. It’s always a great practice to send a follow-up email thanking them for their stay. In this email ask them to take a 5 minute survey.
Offer an incentive for people to complete this survey. Don’t send the exact same survey to a guest who already filled one out. Either have a different survey (potentially with more questions) than the one offered in their room or remove the survey from messages to guests who already completed it.
This is another great opportunity to create repeat business. You can offer an incentive, such as a discounted future stay or tickets for an upcoming event. More people will answer your questions and you give past guests a reason to stay with you again and recommend you to others.
Once you’ve gathered the information from your survey, you can use the results to create a solid marketing and social media strategy. Connect with more of the guests who would be interested in staying with you.
Have you used surveys with your guests? Share your experience in the comments.
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