How to Build An Effective Hotel Customer Satisfaction Questionnaire

guest_satisfaction_survey.jpgIn the age of instant feedback via social media and sites like TripAdvisor, it can feel as if you’ve already got plenty of guest opinions to contend with, but to initiate the post-stay conversation with guests yourself, an effective hotel customer satisfaction questionnaire is the best way to go.

Building an effective questionnaire ensures you get the kinds of customer satisfaction insights you need to drive decision-making and customize training for staff. You want your questionnaire to be both brief and thorough enough to give you a holistic view of a guests’ experience, from check-in to check-out.

Once you decide to survey your guests, here are some good guidelines for building an effective hotel customer satisfaction questionnaire.

Send the Invitation for the Survey Within 2-3 Days of the Guest’s Stay

More than likely, guests have provided you with an email address to receive a reservation confirmation or an emailed copy of their receipt. Armed with that information, you can email an invitation to your customer satisfaction survey and, more importantly, tie their responses back to future activity on the account.

If they said they were likely to stay again, did they? If they gave you a strong rating, were they more likely to spend more during a subsequent stay?

The survey invitation should:

• Thank the guest for their business and let them know that their opinions will help you continue to provide outstanding service to your customers.
• Come from someone in leadership at your hotel or chain, such as an owner, CEO or customer service director.
• Include a link to the survey.

Make the Questionnaire Fast and Easy

In general, your questionnaire should:
• Take guests 5-7 minutes to complete.
• Have 20 or fewer questions.
• Have multiple choice questions with a 5-point scale of options ranging from extremely positive to extremely negative.
• Have at least one open-ended question that allows guests to write their own response, such as: “Do you have any other questions or concerns?”.

Decide What Kinds of Things You Want to Measure and Ask To-the-Point Questions About Them

A Cornell University study published in 2010 found that four key performance indicators dramatically affected how guests evaluated their their stays at one upscale chain: accuracy of the reservation, check-in completed within five minutes, no problems during the stay, and lack of billing mistakes. Guests who experienced all four were most likely to give the hotel a top satisfaction rating.

That’s great insight for you to have as you’re building your questionnaire. You’ll definitely want to be sure to ask about those four things, as well as anything else you’d like to measure, such as the cleanliness of the rooms, the politeness of the staff and the quality of the food at the restaurant.

To find out whether your check-in process made the grade, you might ask something like:

How satisfied are you with the speed of the hotel check-in process?
o Very satisfied
o Satisfied
o Neutral/Not sure
o Dissatisfied
o Very dissatisfied

Or you might ask guests how strongly they agree with certain statements about how well their rooms were cleaned:

The housekeeping staff did an excellent job cleaning my room.
o Strongly agree
o Agree
o Neutral/Not sure
o Disagree
o Strongly disagree

Two other magic questions you’ll want to be sure to ask are:

How likely are you to stay again?
o Extremely likely
o Somewhat likely
o Neutral/Not sure
o Slightly likely
o Not at all likely


How likely is it that you’ll recommend our hotel to a friend, family member or colleague?
o Extremely likely
o Somewhat likely
o Neutral/Not sure
o Slightly likely
o Not at all likely

The guest satisfaction survey is an extremely valuable tool to help make the improvments in hotel operations that will keep guests coming back for more.