These days, hotel guests are inundated with requests to complete online surveys and it’s not easy to get high participation rates. Yet, guest intelligence provides hotels with actionable insight into satisfaction levels and what it will take to deliver even better experiences for future guests. It is essential to make sure guests complete your survey in order to take the necessary action to improve results and boost revenue.
So how can you avoid survey fatigue and ensure that your survey stands out within a crowded email inbox? Here are five tips for increasing guest survey completion rates and prioritising your internal action plan.
1. Improve email collection
Start by putting in place clear processes and tracking to increase the volume and quality of email addresses that you capture. Obtaining the highest percentage of correct email addresses from guests is crucial to maximise the sample size of your guest feedback. Train your staff to be aware of the importance of collecting correct emails. Incentivise them by setting email collection rate objectives with small rewards, making sure you communicate and share the results within your organization in order to build awareness and motivation. As a reference, a number of our clients are successfully collecting more than 70 percent of non-group email addresses.
2. Craft a compelling subject line & personalize your email
• Use a short phrase in the subject line of your email invitation that captures the guest’s attention, establishes your relationship, and is clear.
• Send surveys using the domain name of the hotel or group to avoid confusion amongst guests receiving emails from an unusual address.
• Personalize the message in the body of the email with the guest’s name and thank them for staying with you. If there is an incentive to complete the survey, make sure this is clear but be aware that if you are using the TripAdvisor Review Collection Programme, it is prohibited to offer an incentive. To prevent invitations from going directly to the spam folder, avoid copy that can trigger filters.
• If you are creating separate surveys for different guest segments (hotel guests, restaurant patrons, spa guests, meeting attendees, loyalty members, etc.) a personal request from the recipient’s main contact will help increase completion rates.
3. Implement an effective survey design strategy
Identify what you wish to accomplish in your surveys. A critical objective should be to gain detailed insight into what guests like and dislike to help prioritise operational and service improvements and positively impact your online reputation.
• Make the survey visually appealing and choose a Guest Survey Solution that allows you to customize your survey by adding your hotel logo, colors etc.
• Focus on key areas and keep the survey short. Research shows that the shorter the survey, the higher the response rate. Choose a customizable solution that allows you to adapt questions to gather the necessary insight. Question logic (combination of scale multiple choice, true/false and text box questions) is critical to get detailed feedback in as few questions as possible.
• Guests are more likely to complete a survey when received in their native language, so ensure your solution allows you the flexibility to do so.
• If you want to increase review volume on TripAdvisor, you should consider participating in their Review Collection Programme.
• Time it right. Send post-stay surveys within one to three days after checkout while the stay is still fresh in the guest’s mind and send no more than one reminder.
4. Prioritise mobile
Don’t assume that guests are completing surveys on a computer. According to ReviewPro research, an average of 60 percent of emails and 40 percent of surveys are answered on a mobile device. Make sure that your survey is built with a responsive design to adapt to all types of devices, in both portrait and landscape format.
5. Monitor completion rates and adjust as necessary
Identify which features drive the highest completion rates and generate the most valuable feedback. It is essential to have customizable reporting to keep a close eye on completion rates and take action where necessary. Monitor to track percentage increase in email collection rates as well as completion rates to your survey. Track and report your progress on improving key operational and service issues and measure how this is impacting your overall guest satisfaction scores and online reputation.