I recently took my son out for a quick lunchtime bite on a day he had come to the office with me. He loves a well-known fast food chain, but I suggested we head to a more premium brand. I was quite taken back at the marked difference in cost, so after stuffing our faces with burgers, fries and fizzy drinks I was happy to feedback my thoughts via their guest satisfaction survey. Fifteen minutes and forty questions later (!), I finally finished the survey, feeling even more dis-pleased. I’d spent all that time, answering a whole load of questions that seemed irrelevant to me and I hadn’t even been given the opportunity to say what I wanted to say.
I’m pretty sure I’m representative of the majority of busy working parents who have a need for speed. So why do hospitality operators continue to make it so hard for us to give feedback? Here are my tips for building out your guest satisfaction survey
What will you do with guest feedback?
Reduce your questions down to just a handful. Can you realistically use 40 questions and answers to improve the guest experience? What purposes do these questions serve? If they cannot be used in a constructive way to improve the guest experience, then don’t ask the guest to answer them. It wastes your time and your guests’ time.
Don’t confuse guest satisfaction with compliance
You may already have a mystery dining programme in place and this is where you should be asking ‘compliant’ type of questions e.g. were you greeted warmly? or, was the bill correct? Your guest will be quick to tell you if these fundamentals were not to a satisfactory level, so long as you give them the opportunity to in the form of any ‘further comments’.
Guest satisfaction vs market research
If you have enticed your guest to give feedback, there is a temptation to ask as much as possible whilst you have them. However, it’s dangerous to embark on a market research style questionnaire under the guise of a guest satisfaction survey, as you are likely to get dropouts or survey fatigue will kick in and the guest will hit any button because they just want to get to the end. If you absolutely must ask additional questions, then limit it to one and maybe rotate questions each month so you keep the survey fresh whilst getting new insights frequently.
Drill Down on the important bits
If you uncover an issue or area of improvement by asking your guest a question within the survey, then make sure you get as much detail as possible. This means, your survey needs to be smart enough to know what was important for which guest.
Don’t be repetitive on the same subject area
There really is no need to ask repetitive questions on the same subject. A generic question such as “how could the cleanliness have been better?” will cover the important stuff for that individual guest. Don’t ask specifics about the toilet cleanliness or the table cleanliness, you will hear it if it was pertinent to the individual experience.
Keep it short and sweet
At Feed It Back, we advise our customers to keep the survey short. We capture all information about the visit such as date and time, what the guest ate and more, as we grab the EPOS transaction data in real-time. This means our surveys are personalised to the guests’ actual visit and can be super short. If you are not using our system do your best to keep the survey to an average of 2 minutes asking only what is absolutely necessary, as less will give you more.