“Why do we need surveys, I know what my guests like.”  A statement by hospitality property owners who do not know what their guest like.

Welcome to another addition of hospitality property school.

Today, I am going to be talking about hospitality property surveys.



“Why do we need surveys, I know what my guests like.” 


I would like to say I’ve never heard that before but you might be shocked at the number of hospitality property owners I have met have said just that or something similar.


I’m going to give you four very important reasons why your hospitality property should be conducting surveys.

  1. To find out what’s going on. If your customers are given a non-threatening method to share, they will tell you what’s important to them.
  2. A survey can shed light on items or problems that you might not have been aware of that could be a symptom of a larger problem.
  3. When making decisions about your property, you do not always have to go with your gut feelings but instead make your choices with sound data-driven information.
  4. Surveys provide you with a snapshot of your target guests and their attitudes. This will help you establish a baseline from which you can compare other times and determine whether problems are getting better or worse.


What type of things can you survey? I’ll share a few categories you could ask about your hospitality property.


Market Research

  • You can find out how well positioned is your property or service?
  • Would you increase your market share if you changed an aspect of your property or service?
  • How do visitors use your website?


Product Development

  • What does your target population need?
  • Will your new idea work?
  • Will your target population be excited about your new idea?


Employee Performance Evaluation

  • Do guests think your staff is courteous and helpful?
  • What do your guests think of the service they receive from your employees?


This is an idea of the type of questions you could ask. What types of surveys should you use?

I’m going to highlight four different types of surveys with the advantages, disadvantages and when to use them.


Web Survey


  • Very low cost
  • Extremely fast
  • Complex questioning assures better data



  • Respondent completion rates lower for longer surveys
  • Random respondents may reply if the survey appears on a web page


When to use

  • When desired target population consists mainly of Internet users


Mail Survey


  • Great for social research
  • Low cost (almost 75% less than personal interviews)
  • Eliminates potential bias



  • Low response rate 
  • Time! Need to wait at least several weeks for all responses to arrive


When to use

  • To target a specific group



Telephone Survey


  • Reach 96% of all homes
  • Can be a streamlined process
  • Interviewers can ask for clarification on responses; additional detail



  • “research” calls are often thought of as telemarketers
  • Typical calling window interrupts respondents’ personal time
  • Call screening is common
  • No visual support


When to use

  • Post stay follow-up if you have specific questions for specific guests



During Stay or Check-out Survey


  • Frequently used to gauge behaviour
  • Very good response rates
  • Longer surveys are tolerated
  • You have a captive audience



  • Sometimes guests feel pressured
  • Respondent completion rates lower for longer surveys


When to use

  • Short surveys when guests are checking out and longer during stay, sometimes with an incentive.



How can you ask your guests for feedback? 

Many hospitality property owners are nervous about asking guests for feedback as is could look pushy or rude. This could be true, so you have to make sure it’s done correctly.



At Checkout

Ask your guests if they would mind filling out a SHORT survey.  You can tell them that it is your goal to deliver the best possible experience and by filling out this quick survey you can find out if you’re doing things right and where there is room for improvement.



Post stay

If your guests have a takeaway postage-paid survey or you offer surveys online, send your guests to an e-mail to thank them for the visit and remind them for their feedback, this can drastically increase your survey responses.


In the “The Guide to Operating an Independent Hotel or Bed & Breakfast” Training Tutorials, we look further into ways to improve your hospitality properties survey. You can access this through a link in the show notes at:




Alright, there were some ways to consider getting feedback through surveys.


In Conclusion

Hospitality property surveys can tell you a lot about your business and how guests view your endeavours. This research can be invaluable to the success of your property

If you have any interesting stories about hospitality property surveys and would like to share or have any questions or feedback you can leave them in the comments section of the show notes at.




That’s it for this session of hospitality property school.


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So, as always, let’s work together to put heads in your beds.

Until next time, have a fun day.




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