Online customer serviceMaking a survey is easy, and finding a basic template is just a Google search away. Making a quality one however, takes careful consideration and a little creativity. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. The way you analyze the data and how you react to this data can be just as important. In this first discussion we look at ideas to create the perfect survey.

1: When it comes to formatting surveys, order is everything.

Assemble your questions beginning with the most general to draw guests in, filling the middle of the survey with more specific inquiries, and then adding broader questions at the end to wrap it up. If you start and end the survey with light questions, guests will be more compelled to not only try your survey, but complete it.

2: Avoid potentially turning off guests by allowing “no answer” options.

Some guests may not take a liking to certain demographic questions, finding them inappropriate and invasive. Ensuring privacy and allowing a “prefer not to answer” option can increase your chances of getting better results – and a completed survey.

3: The shorter the better.

Shortening your questions will not only help keep your guest’s attention, but their patience as well. Short, concise questions will most likely result in short, concise answers.

4: Personalize, personalize, personalize.

With every survey, make sure you refer to your guests by name. It sets a warm, inviting tone, making your survey all the more attractive.

5: Avoid favoritism.

When formulating questions, keep your queries as impartial as possible. In other words, don’t manipulate the language in hopes that it will lead to a positive rating – let them decide.

Creating dynamic questions is just the beginning. What is really important is what you do with the data once you have it. Would it be important to know who your biggest advocates are for future marketing promotions? Would it be useful to know which OTA booking source was the happiest /unhappiest and why? Are the guest that are staying in the newly refurbished guest rooms leaving better reviews then the guest in the older rooms? What if something as simple as the coffee shop not opening early enough or guest rooms not being ready on time was negatively affecting the guest experience and therefore influencing the reviews that these guests post online. In the second installment we will discuss how analyzing the data and making small changes based on these trends can affect your bottom line.