I would like to believe, that you already know the importance of the guest communication. One of the communication forms is a questionnaire. It is a slightly different thing than a review form or a complaint card. Questionnaires can be used in every stage of the reservation's process: pre-arrival, during stay, and post-departure. Each questionnaire would have a different purpose and give you different information. If you would like to learn more about this, just continue reading.
Why should you use a hotel guest questionnaire?
Sending a questionnaire (even the short one) during the guest stay will show to your guests that you actually care. It is enough to ask if everything is all right in the room and if they are satisfied with the comfort or cleanliness in the room. If you receive a negative response, you can react immediately and deal with the problem on the spot. Maybe it is enough to send the housekeeper to the room or relocate the guest to a more quiet room in case they complain about the street noise.
Using some form of a questionnaire will definitely help you to avoid bad reviews online. People will be able to express their negative (if there are any) or positive feedback before it gets online. Meaning, that you can still fix the issue of the guest and solve the problem right on the spot. As mentioned in the previous article about mobile applications for hotels, some people might be not feeling comfortable to express the problems face-to-face. Therefore with the help of an online questionnaire, you can help them to get the help they need.
You can't always rely on the reviews or comments online. Probably you noticed, that online reviews represent black or white. They are either very positive or super negative. Rarely someone would write just because they felt that stay at your place was mediocre or "Okay". That's why it can be hard to get the complete picture and asking questions during the stay can provide more realistic experiences.
How to form the hotel guest questionnaire?
You can send several questionnaires during the guest reservation's cycle. Just be smart about it. Don't make it too long because guests will not want to bother themselves with tons of questions during their holidays.
Rule #1. Make all your questionnaires (surveys) mobile friendly. Nowadays the majority of people are reading their mail on their mobile devices. If they are on holidays, most probably they won't have their computers with them. Your survey must be mobile responsive and must work on any device. Avoid surveys that require any additional download on the guest's side. Best would be to use the mobile application provided by the hotel. Guest most probably already have it on their phone, so just add your questions there. Some property management systems can offer mobile application integration so you can schedule survey sending and not worry to deal with it manually.
Rule #2. The subject of the e-mail should be eye-catching. Guest should be intrigued when receiving a message from you.
Rule #3. Don't forget personalisation. You already know your guest's name and some other details. Add them to your message so it will sound more like a human conversation and not some common template. Also, thank for the time they spent filling the survey. And offering a discount coupon for a next stay is a must!
Rule #3. Be smart when creating your questions. Keep the logical sequence. If you are creating a questionnaire about the online reservation experience, don't start with the question about payment procedure. Most probably that is the last step at the booking process, so leave it for later. Like I mentioned before, don't make long surveys that take several pages. It shouldn't take more than 10 minutes to fill it. So try to fit in 10-15 questions. When creating a survey after departure, add a follow-up question in case someone gave a negative review. This will show your guests that you care and you want to find out what exactly was the issue.
Rule #4. Keep it simple. Stay away from any industry related words, that are known just by professionals. If you ask your guest about experience booking at OTA, they might not be sure what the hell is an OTA. Put yourself in the shoes of your guests and keep vocabulary simple but clear. Don't ask about two different things in one question. E.g. "How did you like your bed and TV in the room?". They might have loved the bed but the TV was not working properly and therefore, a single answer wouldn't fit. So be very specific with your questions and ask them in a non-suggestive way. Meaning, that your question shouldn't prompt the answer. E.g. "Was there any problem in our SPA area?". Instead of this, you should ask "Tell us more about your experience at our SPA area".
Communication with the guest is one of the most important aspects of hospitality. There can be several ways of communication. Guests should be able to choose, which one is the most acceptable to them. Late technology gives you seamless possibility to reach out to your guests directly on their devices. You don't need to leave "paper" complaint forms or printed questionnaires on the table in the room. Guests need to have the benefits of choosing where and when to answer your questions.