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“Why do I need hotel surveys, I know what my guests like.”

I would like to say I’ve never heard that before but you might be shocked at the number of hospitality property owners I have met who have said just that or something similar. I’m going to explain why you need hotel surveys.

Welcome to another edition of Hospitality Property School.

I’m your instructor, Gerry MacPherson.

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Introduction

I’m going to give you four very important reasons why your hospitality property should be conducting surveys.

  1. To find out what’s going on. If your customers are given a non-threatening method, they will tell you what’s important to them.

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  1. A survey can shed light on items or problems that you might not have been aware of that could be a symptom of a larger problem.

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  1. When making decisions about your property, you do not always have to go with your gut feelings but instead make your choices with sound data-driven information.

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  1. Surveys provide you with a snapshot of your target guests and their attitudes. This will help you establish a baseline from which you can compare other times and determine whether problems are getting better or worse.

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Hotel Surveys – How They Increase Business | Ep. #233

Books with Tips & Strategies for

Your Hotel, Resort, Inn,

Bed and Breakfast Hotel Surveys – How They Increase Business | Ep. #233

 

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Categories of Surveys & Sample Questions

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Market Research 

  • How well-positioned is my property or service?
  • Would I increase my market share if I changed an aspect of my property or service?
  • How do visitors use my website?

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Product Development 

  • Will our new idea work?
  • Will our target population be excited about our new idea?
  • What does our target population need?

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Employee Performance Evaluation 

  • Do guests think our staff is courteous and helpful?
  • What do our guests think of the service they receive from our employees?

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How can you ask your guests for feedback?  

Many hospitality property owners are nervous about asking guests for feedback as it could look pushy or rude. This could be true, so you have to make sure it’s done correctly.

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At check out 

Ask your guests if they would mind filling out a short survey. You can tell them that it is your goal to deliver the best possible experience for your guests and by filling out this quick survey you can find out if you’re doing things right and where there is room for improvement.

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Post stay 

If your guests have a takeaway postage-paid survey or you offer surveys online, send your guests to an e-mail to thank them for the visit and remind them for their feedback, this can drastically increase your survey responses.

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How to improve your properties survey 

Here are a few things to think about to get the highest possible completion rate.

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The length of your survey 

Stay under 25 questions and easy to read. It should not take longer than 5-10 minutes to complete.

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Is this making sense?

Let me know in the comment section.

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Attention-grabbing 

Ask interesting questions at the beginning of the survey to grab guests’ attention.

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Flow to your questions 

Most minds work in a logical fashion, so your survey should as well. Follow the process your guest would’ve taken from reservation to check out and group the questions accordingly.

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Impartiality 

Your goal is to get honest answers from your guests, so when asking questions, stay away from ones that offer only “yes” or “no” answers.  For example, “Did you like our check-out procedure?” instead you could ask “How did you feel about the check-out procedure?” 

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Stay away from industry terminology 

Instead of saying “OTA” for example, use “third-party reservation site” or “online travel agency”. Your guests but may find travel terminology confusing.

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Ask one question at a time  

For example, don’t ask about both the front desk and room service in the same question. The guest could make a statement that could be about the front-desk or about room service and you would not be sure.

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Ask update questions  

If you would like specific information about a certain aspect of your property, make sure to ask the question. For example, “What do they think of the new renovations?” or ask their opinions on possible new changes.

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Check to report 

If there are certain questions that quite often do not get answered, ask why. Maybe there are unclear or something your guests do not care about.

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What are the right questions to ask?

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The first thing is you have to know how well you really know your target market.

Their pains…

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Their problems…

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Their motivations…

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Are you marketing your hospitality property online and feel like your message is falling flat?

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  • Do people understand what you have to offer?

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  • Do you know your target market?

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When you give your customers specific instructions for completing the survey question, ask them to be as detailed as possible and try to discourage one-word answers such as “time” or “money.”

By having this question by itself on a form or a page, it’ll have the full attention of the reader.

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There are follow-up questions that can be used successfully as well. If you ask for the person’s name, email and phone number, I would recommend making this optional.

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The following are examples of six follow-ups questions that you can customize to serve your needs:

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  1. Have you ever tried _________? If no, why not?

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  1. What is the biggest obstacle or struggle that is stopping you from booking?

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  1. What are the negative consequences of this struggle?

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  1. What is your ideal solution to this problem?

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  1. What are the positive consequences and results in solving this problem?

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  1. If you had the chance to ask me one question, what would it be?

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You can use either the one-question survey, the six-question survey or a combination of both.

There are several software platforms you can use to create your surveys, including the free Google Forms. I would also consider checking out Survey Monkey or Survey Funnel, which have more functions, as well as the ability to ask just one question per page.

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How do you interpret all of the survey results?

Print them out and read the question each time out loud, followed by the answer. Even better yet, have someone else read them to you.

It is important not to judge the responses, and to be present with the words.

There are those who might not be able to fully convey what they are trying to say with just words, but you can still get a feel of the energy or emotion behind the response.

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In conclusion

It’s not about the number of completed surveys received, it’s all about the quality of your interpretation and how you are able to use the information in your business.

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Do you currently use surveys to gather information from your guests?

Let me know in the comments.

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You will have access to this episode for the next six weeks and then it will get locked in the vault for Hospitality Property School Group members only.

When you see that we have something new, don’t mark it “Unread” or file it away in the belief you’ll read it later because you might miss your chance.

To see all the other valuable material you’d have access to as a member of the Hospitality Property School Group, check out the short video in the episode post-show notes.

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.Hotel Surveys – How They Increase Business | Ep. #233

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In the next episode, I will talk about 7 Secret Strategies That Hotels Can Use to Benefit from Online Travel Agencies.

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That’s it for today’s episode,

Until next time, have a fun day.

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