Analyze prices and competitors now. Try Smartpricing Free!

Are your guests satisfied? Here are the rules for creating the perfect satisfaction survey

Asking your guests for feedback on their stay is not enough: you need a satisfaction questionnaire to get measurable data. Follow our tips to create it or download the template!

Hotel guest satisfaction questionnaire: template and tips | Smartpricing

Reputation and turnover go hand in hand in all industries: quality comes at a price, as everyone knows, and accommodations are no exception.

That's why it's crucial to constantly monitor the satisfaction of guests who choose to stay with you, drawing inspiration from their suggestions (and complaints) to continually improve the quality of your offerings.

In this article you will learn how to structure a guest survey in a simple but effective way and how to use it to increase sales.

Why is a satisfaction survey important?

Customer satisfaction is a measure of how well your products, services, and overall experience meet that customer's expectations.

Since the 1990s it has become increasingly important, eventually becoming a specific performance indicator under the name Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT).

Measuring customer satisfaction through a survey is important because it helps you to:

  • Optimize your offering by discovering your weaknesses and strengths
  • Build a solid reputation over the long term
  • Get better reviews and increase bookings
  • Build customer loyalty and nurture word of mouth

What information is gained from a satisfaction questionnaire?

A successful customer survey must offer answers that are measurable and therefore practically actionable. To ensure this, remember to ask specific questions in a simple and straightforward manner.

A classic example of a question is, "How would you rate your satisfaction with the product/service you received?"

To achieve a high response rate, remember that a survey should take a maximum of five minutes to complete: it should therefore have a small number of questions, preferably between five and ten.

What information can emerged from a satisfaction questionnaire?

With a well-organized survey you can gather information about every aspect of your guests' stay, but also get more specific feedback. For example, about a newly introduced technology or a renovation.

Before you begin drafting the questionnaire, you will therefore need to take some time to define the objectives of your survey: do you want to investigate the full range of services offered? The friendliness of your staff? The cleanliness of the rooms?

Here are some questions we suggest you always include to get the maximum benefit from your survey:

  1. Overall, how would you rate your satisfaction with your stay at our facility?
    Answers to this question will give you an overview of how the experience at your facility is rated and allow you to extrapolate month-to-month trends.
  2. Would you recommend our establishment to others?
    It is very unlikely that a dissatisfied guest would recommend your hotel to their circle of acquaintances. That is why it is important to measure this propensity.
  3. What was the best aspect of your stay?
    Any feedback that brings out your strengths is extremely valuable in improving your marketing and sales strategy.
  4. Do you have any suggestions or feedback you would like to share?
    Identifying what your guests think are your weaknesses and areas for improvement is important for prioritizing the interventions to be implemented.
  5. How would you rate the likelihood of returning to stay at our establishment?
    A satisfied guest can turn into a loyal customer, and that is the ultimate goal of measuring satisfaction.

In addition, be sure to also investigate the following key areas in your questionnaire:

  • Reception
  • Staff
  • Hotel-Standard
  • Rooms
  • Atmosphere
  • Cleanliness
  • Bathroom
  • Breakfast
  • Furnishings
  • Value for money

Avoid unnecessary questions

Before creating your questionnaire, check the information already available in your management system so that you avoid asking questions about details such as gender or demographics and keep the survey short and relevant.

Also make sure that the results of the questionnaire are recorded in the guest's profile within your management system. This is crucial so that you can analyze how each target group of customers evaluates your offer: only then will you be able to read the results constructively and translate them into concrete actions.

How do you design the survey to get the highest response rate?

Time is a precious commodity, and people want to enjoy every spare minute, especially when they are on vacation. Creating a quick and easy survey is the best way to ensure a high response rate.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Short, understandable questions
    Survey questions should be simple, concise and not give rise to misunderstanding or misinterpretation
  • Choose a rating system
    You could have your guests choose from several options on a scale of 1 to 5, where the smallest value stands for "not very satisfied" and the largest value for "very satisfied." Alternatively, you can opt for multiple choice questions (with up to four possible answers) or closed questions (yes/no). The choice of measurement instrument depends on the feedback you wish to obtain. It is important that the questionnaire explain the criteria of the evaluation.
  • Translate into multiple languages
    Depending on where your guests come from, prepare your questionnaire in multiple languages to get feedback from everyone
  • Offer an incentive for responding
    To further entice your guests to respond, you can provide a reward for their time. For example, you could provide a coupon for a discount on their next stay, offer freebies to use right away (drinks at the hotel bar, coffee, bottle of wine in the room, etc.), or hold a small raffle where they win free nights or spa treatments.
    Be sure to make the benefit offered in exchange for filling out the survey known in advance − the customer needs to know about it before they start responding.

How can you expand the survey to make it more effective?

We recommend that you design your questionnaire in a way that is customized to your facility and develop different versions of it, divided according to your target customer groups.

It is important to tailor the questions to each type of guest because not everyone uses the same services. This way you will be able to obtain a great deal of information, analyze the specific needs of each customer category, and take the right actions to meet them.

Here's what you should think about before structuring the various versions of the survey:

  • Guest questions: how many times has the guest stayed with you before?
  • Services used: check first what was actually used to ask for a targeted evaluation.
  • Specific response options: you can go beyond the 5-point rating scale. For example if you want more specific feedback on your staff you can ask to choose from adjectives (friendly, slow, unfriendly, messy, professional, etc.).
  • Inquire about location: although you cannot directly change this, it is important to assess how it affects you. For example, ask if the guest liked the shuttle service to and from the airport (or the beach).
  • Remember the details: are check-in and check-out fast and efficient? Was booking over the phone or online easy? Are bedding and linens comfortable? Is the food & beverage offering good? Were directions on how to get there clear?
  • Guest priorities: answers to a question such as "How important are the following areas to you?" can give you more information about where to direct your investments.
  • Motivations for the stay
  • Budget that guests are willing to spend on a specific service or package

Online activity: ask your guests how they learned about your hotel. (via word of mouth, social media, or Google search), their preferred method of payment, and whether they use the Internet or agencies to find the right hotel for them. This will give you important feedback on the communication channels you use and which ones you should improve and/or avoid.

Is it better to have a printed or digital survey?

After creating your survey, you will be faced with choosing the best format  to submit to guests. Is the traditional paper version still effective or has it been replaced by the online format?

The answer is simple: it depends!

To choose the best mode for you, we suggest you consider the type of clientele you are targeting. Older travelers might prefer the classic variant, while younger guests might be more likely to take the survey on a smartphone or tablet.

If you don't want to miss any opportunities, we suggest enabling both variants, for example by printing a QR code on the paper questionnaire that links back to the online version.

Both are good solutions, but the digital format allows you to save the results more quickly in the guest profile on your management system and reuse them more easily in the future.
Remember that you do not need to invest large budgets to implement a digital survey-you can find many free tools online to do so, such as Google Forms, which offers unlimited surveys and responses.

Instant feedback

Measuring customer satisfaction does not always have to be done in written form. It is quite likely for your staff to gather important information about their satisfaction or dissatisfaction in their daily dialogue with guests.

That is why, as soon as you decide to start measuring this parameter, it is crucial to train your staff accordingly. Explain the value of feedback expressed by guests and make them aware of the correct procedure for administering printed and/or online questionnaires, but also on how to collect and record verbally expressed evaluations.

To encourage immediate feedback you can invite guests to share their opinions as early as during their stay, again you can choose whether digitally, in writing or directly at the front desk. This way you can solve any problems and improve your service even before the guest checks out.

When should you propose the satisfaction questionnaire?

Another important decision is when to submit the questionnaire: you can deliver it right away at check-in and leave guests free to fill it out when they want and return it to the front desk, or you can send a post-stay e-mail with a link to the online survey.

Again, we advise you to define the process according to your target groups: which guests will receive the questionnaire and how? For example: via e-mail to those who book online, paper during check-in, or available on tablets in the room.

We suggest you avoid the time of check-out, which could be critical as the guest may be in a hurry or feel pressured and thus not respond sufficiently or truthfully.

It is important to give the guest time to fill out the questionnaire in the most comfortable way, during the stay or from the comfort of home.

Should your guests not remember to leave feedback during their stay, a suitable time to send them the survey (by e-mail or with a letter) is typically two or three days after check-out, when memories of the vacation are still fresh.

Pay attention to the response rate

After you create your satisfaction questionnaire and start using it, remember to monitor not only its results, but also the response rate.

This data will help you understand whether the structure of the survey is good: a low response rate could indicate that you need to improve the questionnaire design or that the questions are too numerous or unclear.

Start with a ready-made template

Monitoring guest satisfaction is crucial for any hospitality facility, but structuring a truly effective survey from scratch is challenging and could prove complicated.

In this article, we have summarized all the tips for creating a satisfaction questionnaire, but if you want to save time you can use our ready-made template.

You can download it and use it as is, or decide to customize it by removing or adding questions and adapt it to your own graphic style.