All products and services are designed with the customer in mind. A guest satisfaction survey is a questionnaire designed to help businesses and entrepreneurs better understand their customer’s feelings and thoughts towards their products and brand. It allows companies to improve strategically, optimize user experience and supply exactly what the market demands.
In our ever-changing society, guest satisfaction surveys have never been more needed for you to know and understand “what your guests want” and “where you need to improve on”.
Advantages of Guest Satisfaction Surveys for Vacation Rentals
Now that we know the importance of guest satisfaction surveys and why it is significant today. So, what benefits can you as a rental owner gain from conducting guest satisfaction surveys for your business?
1. You Gain Valuable Feedback
Perhaps the most important benefit is the ability to get feedback on any concerns or wants your clients may have. This feedback not only exposes issues you may have never thought of, but gives you an insight into understanding your guests better.
2. You Can Determine Your Priorities
Your survey results help you determine which aspects of your business you need to prioritize and those you need to work on. This is helpful because sometimes, what you think your guests like might be completely different from what they are interested in.
3. You Can Track Changes In Feedback
One of the greatest advantages is the ability to track changes in customer feedback and determine where you went wrong. For example, if your January survey was full of good results, but your February and March surveys come back predominantly negative, then you’ll know that it has to do with policies introduced during those two months.
4. You Can Identify Trends
Closely linked to determining your priorities is the ability to identify changing trends in the market. Through guest satisfaction surveys, you can stay at the top of your game and never lag.
How to Write a Guest Satisfaction Survey
A lot of things go into writing a guest satisfaction survey, including the type of survey, the question type, and even the structure of the survey. All of those things will be discussed in detail in this article. But, the most important thing to consider when writing a survey is who you’re writing for, the information you hope to receive, and how to distribute this survey. And don’t forget to start small – you’re just getting started, no need to rush all the surveys at once.
Guest Satisfaction Survey Question Types
1. Multiple-Choice Questions
With multiple-choice questions, there is always a limited amount of answers a guest can give. The results are tabulated easily and you are more likely to get responses as they are easier to fill and require less stress than open-ended questionnaires.
An example of this could be “How well would you rate our service? (1) The best (2) Manageable (3) Not good at all”.
Demographic-based questions are a great way to understand where your customers are coming from. It allows you to group them into different ‘buyer personas’ based on the key characteristics they have.
Some examples of demographics questionnaires include: ‘How old are you?’, ‘What gender do you identify as?’, ‘Do you have children?’, ‘Where are you located?’ and much more.
3. Open-Ended Questions
An open-ended survey question gives customers the freedom to write whatever they want without the limitation of fixed answers. However, while you will get more detailed responses, you are likely to get less feedback. This is because people are busy and less likely to stop to type things for your survey.
A good method would be to mix open-ended questions with multiple choice questions in surveys. This way, guests will only have to type in a few words.
A great way to end guest satisfaction surveys is by inquiring about what happens next. These questions allow you to follow up with the participants even after the submission. And continued contact can come in handy the next time you need to conduct a survey or review a product.
This question can be phrased in various ways: ‘Could we contact you to follow up on these responses?’, ‘Would you drop your email in case of further information?’, ‘In the future, would you be willing to undergo this survey again?’ etc.
Specific Questions That Can Be Asked In Guest Satisfaction Surveys
How likely are you to recommend (company name) to a friend, colleague, or family member?
How well would you rate our customer service?
How could we improve your experience with (company name)?
How happy are you with (company name)?
Please describe yourself in 2 sentences.
How Long Should It Be?
We all want to get detailed results from our surveys, but keep in mind that people are busy and may not have the time to answer long, drawn-out surveys. Therefore, the length of your survey should be balanced; long enough to grab the reader’s attention but not too long to the point where they lose interest.
Concerning the issue of how and when to send out surveys – technology has advanced, use that to your advantage. There are plenty of free online survey programs like Google Form, SurveyMonkey, or SurveyNuts which can easily be emailed to your guests. You could make this a regular thing, and send them out weekly, or monthly, so guests don’t get tired of seeing them.
Pay Attention to the Positive Feedback
Everyone loves getting positive feedback. It’s a great way to boost your confidence as a rental owner. So, if you keep getting compliments about things you’re doing right, serve up more of that. It’s not always about bid details. Sometimes, it’s the little details that leave big impressions and keep guests coming back for more.
Something as simple as a welcome basket on the kitchen table, beautiful decorations, a deck of cards, or even flowers in the parlor can leave great impacts on guests. All these seemingly small things help build up a more positive impact on a guest experience survey.
Pay Attention to the Negative Feedback
The worst thing that can happen to you as a rental owner is if your guests are unhappy with your services, and you don’t know why. This is the famous ‘unknown unknown’ that can affect even the best vacation rental businesses. You don’t know what you don’t know. So be purposeful in knowing.
This could reduce your number of repeat customers, and unhappy customers may decide to share their experience with people they know. In a study conducted by the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, unhappy customers will share negative reviews with between 9 to 15 people. Furthermore, approximately 13% of unhappy guests will their negative experiences with 20 or more people
What to Take Away
Whether it’s getting to know your customers better, or knowing where you stand in the consumer market, surveys matter. You can only provide your guests with the best experience possible when you know what they need, and that all starts with the feedback you get from a guest experience survey.
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