Survey Best Practices

Best Practices when creating your survey


At Guestfolio we see a lot of surveys, ranging from simple 1-question pages to multiple pages with specific questions about every detail of a guest's stay.

We have created this brief guide with some recommendations based on our experience — we hope you will find it helpful when building your custom survey with Guestfolio.

A well-written and formatted survey will generate high response rates and provide you with quality information that can be used to improve just about any aspect of your business.

Open vs Closed questions
Both Open and Closed questions are very useful and both have their relevant use. In a survey you would ask a closed question if you would just like a Yes or No answer,
e.g. "Did you take advantage of the complimentary continental breakfast?" (closed) vs "How did you find the complimentary continental breakfast?" (open).
A closed question would allow a definitive answer; an open question would allow the guest to provide information on their answer. Of course, you can combine these too: see Dependency Questions.

Closed questions are useful for calculating an overall score to help you rate your performance over time. Open questions provide the additional information you need to know how to improve. The more open questions you have, the more information you will potentially yield from the guest survey.

Survey Length
Surveys can vary in length, we recommend keeping surveys concise to provide a greater chance of completion and higher return.
Pagination is a great way to make a longer survey appear shorter and more digestible. Separate pages allow you to divide the survey into categories, with titles visible at the top of the survey to show the progress through the survey. The titles are clickable allowing guests to skip to a page or return to a previous page.
We recommend no more than 5 pages.

Dependency Questions

By using dependency questions to hide questions that are not applicable to the guest's experience you can greatly shorten both the appearance of the survey, and the time it takes to complete it. e.g. "Did you take advantage of the complimentary continental breakfast?" (Yes/No). Until the guest answers "Yes", it's not necessary to show the follow-up question — "How did you find the complimentary continental breakfast?" (text box) The second question is dependent on the first question, which can be very useful to make a concise looking survey with follow-up questions that will only show if a previous question matches a specific answer or range of answers. See below


Direct the survey questions
When considering your questions, ensuring the voicing directs the guest to providing a relevant answer.
e.g. We provide a world famous continental breakfast, including first class service, and a range of buffet style options. What did you think of the service?
Instead use more direct questioning.
We provide a world famous continental breakfast. How did you find the menu options?
We provide a first class service in our dining room. How did would you rate the service?
This provides easier to understand questions and more details responses.

Positive outlook
Try to create positive questions such as Would you like to be on our mailing list, but use a "Yes" only checkbox.
Ask what was good about the stay, remind the guest of facilities that your property offers as part of your questions
Ask what you could improve on rather than asking an open ended What was wrong with your stay type questions.

Visual Design
We style your custom survey to match your existing hotel ensuring a seamless brand experience for your guests.
We use a custom CSS file, providing a pleasant and clean survey for your guests.

Troubleshooting a low response rate
We aim to create a custom survey that provides the information needed to continue and improve excellent service. Sometimes your survey may not be yielding the results you expect, and your survey may need to be adjusted in order provide a greater response rate. Here are some potential causes of a poor response rate:

Survey email sent too soon/too late after reservation end date.
The survey is too long
The survey is confusing
The questions are poorly structured or worded
Too many pages
Dependency questions at more than 2 levels deep (answering a question provides another question, and then again)
Busy time of year, guests may not have time to complete a survey

All of these potential causes can be addressed with an adjusted survey. Please speak with your account manager or email support@guestfolio.com if you have a concern with response rates

What is the Net Promoter Score (NPS)?

For use with Survey Homework