Tried and True Strategies for Post-Stay Surveys: How to Collect More Positive Guest Feedback

By Valerie Carboni

Last updated January 26, 2022

3 min read


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Guest surveys are one of the most efficient ways of encouraging feedback and they have the potential to boost a hotel business. In this best practice guide, we are focusing on the tried and true strategies of creating successful post-stay surveys in order to ensure more positive feedback and higher levels of guest satisfaction. 

With over 10 years in the hospitality industry, TrustYou has gathered and leveraged a multitude of insights, often times provided by our trusted clients. The following tips on how to build post-stay surveys are based on the strategies that have proven to have a positive pay-off.  

 

To start on a general note, it’s important to consider the following overall survey best practices:

  • Provide multilingual surveys in order to cater to international travelers. It will not only encourage your guests to complete a review but they will also feel valued.

  • Stick to a simple, unsophisticated, and to the point writing style. Consider that your guests are already doing you a favor by taking their time to complete the survey, so there’s no need to overcomplicate things.

  • Typically, minimizing surveys to 1-2 dropdown/checkbox answers, 3-5 ratings, and one long text answer will take your guest about 5 minutes to fill out.

  • As a rule-of-thumb, avoid asking for more than 1-2 long text answers. Most long surveys are not completed and a larger number of open questions tend to discourage respondents

  • Try to use only one page for the entire guest survey in order to encourage its completion.

Moving on to the more specific strategies that ensure a positive outcome, here’s what you should consider when creating guest surveys:

 

Personalize the header 

The header is the way in which you introduce your intentions of getting feedback and you encourage your guest to move forward with the survey. It is recommended to personalize the header with the guest’s name in order to give it a more personal and friendly touch. 

 

Mention the value of the review

Before you start asking questions, it’s important to let the guest know what’s the actual value of his review. You can start by explaining that his feedback is highly appreciated and that it will help improve the hotel services and any future experiences. Make the guest feel heard and valued from the very beginning and you stand higher chances of getting a completed survey.

 

Explain the rating system

Let your guests know what they’re getting into. Right after making the introduction and explaining the value of honest feedback, explain the rating system used in the survey. Whether it’s based on a scale from 1-5, satisfaction levels, or any other type of rating system, make it clear from the beginning in order to avoid misunderstandings and less than accurate answers.

 

Include the type of trip at the beginning

If this is something that is valuable to you and your business, make sure to inquire about the type of trip in the beginning of the survey. Based on this, you can anticipate the reasoning behind the following answers and even build a customer profile that will lead to more personalized future experiences.

 

Start with non-mandatory ratings

The final goal is to receive answers and honest feedback but keep in mind that not everyone has an answer for everything. Some questions should be mandatory and some should be more flexible. It is recommended to start with the non-mandatory ratings in order to ensure that respondents don’t feel “trapped” - that is something that can lead to an abandoned survey. 

 

End with (not too many) open questions 

Questions that enable multiple choice answers are the most efficient ones and generally, respondents are more eager to provide feedback to these them. However, sometimes open answers are needed in order to explore a more complex inquiry. Open questions should not be mandatory and we recommend to stick to one or two. Otherwise, people might get discouraged and not complete the survey.

 

Locate the overall score at the end of the survey

The overall score is meant to summarize the rating that guests provide to the overall hotel experience. Keep it at the end of the survey, as a natural succession and a wrap-up. Also, it we recommend to attach a “review text” to the overall score in order for guests to be able to express any final impressions or suggestions.

 

Inquire about stand-out staff

This isn’t mandatory and you decide if this is helpful for your business, however we encourage it to shine a spotlight on your most deserving staff. All you have to do is add an extra question at the end of the survey inquiring about any stand-out members of the hotel staff. Guests appreciate the human touch and the opportunity to praise your exceptional staff, which can also be used as a method to reward and encourage your personnel.

 

Ask guests is they want to receive newsletters/be contacted by staff

If you wish to follow up with guests after their stay or even send out a future newsletter, include this information in the guest survey, at the very end. You can use a drop-down question that would enable guests to choose the option that they prefer in terms of future hotel-guest communication. This encourages loyalty, and improve your CRM.

 

Publish to Google

This is not a question per se but rather a way for you to gain online visibility and leverage feedback towards a higher exposure. When using the TrustYou survey solution, you can add an option at the very end of the survey. This means that guests can choose to have their feedback published on the hotel’s Google listing to make it public and even more valuable.