Smart Strategies for Post-Stay Surveys
From posting reviews on public-facing review sites to sharing their experiences via social media, guests are presented with countless ways to share their feedback online. There is another method of guest feedback collection that should not go overlooked by hoteliers: the guest feedback survey.
What Are Post-Stay Surveys?
At first glance, post-stay surveys may sound the same as regular guest reviews. While that may be true for the traveler, there are differences that are important to you as a hotel owner. First, the way the information is delivered to you in a post-stay survey is private. A guest provides their impressions, thoughts, and feelings, but it isn’t to a public-facing audience like a review. Their response is sent directly to the property, opening up the chance for a one-on-one resolution with the guest.
Unlike review websites where travelers’ names can be left blank or replaced with a username, a survey response contains a guest’s full name, which affords you the opportunity to look up the exact date of their stay. From that, you can glean a wealth of information about that guest’s specific visit. You’ll know who was on staff and what room they occupied, which is useful regardless of whether the guest sent you a positive or negative response. Any issues they had with their specific accommodations can be targeted and addressed by you and your team far quicker than if the guest had simply left a review.
It’s important to recognize the difference between a review and a survey and acknowledge that both have unique benefits to your reputation management overall.
Why Use Post-Stay Surveys?
Guest surveys are crucial to gathering information, both about your property and about your guests. Like we said, unlike reviews, surveys are a direct line between you and the guest. With the right questions, you can get a crystal clear idea of what that guest’s stay was like. Surveys can provide deeper insight than a review, and because of the direct link between you and your guests, it encourages a direct resolution of issues that guests may have.
TMG’s Product Director, Patrick O’Brien, further discusses the importance of using guest surveys in a recent episode of the Suite Spot. “You don’t know what you don’t know,” he starts, moving on to say that surveys can provide “analytics and insight behind the feedback” to show you if the issue is an immediate concern, a growing concern you should worry about for the future, or simply an outlier situation. No matter the result, it gives you objective data to put that guest’s concerns into greater context.
However, it’s equally important to keep in mind that not all surveys contain negative feedback. They can be positive, as well, which helps clue you into areas of your property that are working well and drawing in guests. Then, you can use that information to inform your marketing strategy, putting more attention on promoting the elements of your property that you know your current guests already love.
Making Your Surveys Attractive to Complete
With the differences between surveys and reviews and the importance of surveys in mind, it all comes down to putting it into action. With Travel Media Group, your post-stay surveys are sent via email to guests who stayed with you. It’s convenient and direct, but what are some ways you can ensure your guests finish your survey?
First, we suggest not overloading your survey with questions. It’s tempting to ask a guest about every aspect of their visit down to the nitty-gritty details. However, surveys with too many questions will only bog down your guest and tire them out before they’re done answering. Plus, what you want to ask may not have been relevant to what high points or issues they have on their mind when filling out your survey. Post-stay surveys with Travel Media Group are already prepared with questions designed to get you the most accurate information from your guests.
If you want to deviate and ask a question or two of your own instead, we recommend that you include fewer questions that require long-form answers. Try to keep your questions answerable on a scale of 1-5. Leaving space for extra comments at the end will give guests who want to elaborate the opportunity to do so.
Sending Your Survey: Email Strategies to Consider
Once your survey is complete and ready to be shared, there comes the question of how best to send it to guests. Travel Media Group helps make that process easy through our easy-to-use email upload system that converts your guests into a mailing list. However, compiling a list of guests to send the email to isn’t the only hurdle: you must also consider the language within your email and when you want to send it.
Luckily, working with Travel Media Group takes some of the pressure off of you. Our client success representatives are at your side and ready to help you with every step of the process, from generating an email list to ensuring your surveys are sent out at just the right time for guests to open them.
Guest surveys are a vital tool for every hotelier when it comes to understanding a guest’s impression of your property. Travel Media Group’s Reputation Management program can help you design insightful surveys that help you get the full picture. Check out our page for more details about how we can help you create a sharper marketing strategy.