Every hotel or chain wants to make sure they are successful, but while some may feel they have their finger on the pulse, others will want to carry out plenty of research. Of course, the former group is likely to mainly comprise those who are well established, have been successful for some time and have good reasons to feel they have their finger on the pulse.
They might also have well-established means of feedback that are used substantially. By contrast, others may be newer on the scene and have less of a clear idea about their target market. Alternatively, there are some hotels with a tried-and-trusted way of doing things, but a desire to try something new. Whether it is the need to understand the customer base better, assess the merits of trying something new or simply establish if changing tastes are gradually forming into trends that will require a response, a customer survey can help provide plenty of answers. Rather than leave the design to an outsider who may be skilled at presentation but less aware of your needs than you are, it is possible to design a survey yourself. In doing so, there are a few key things you need to do, starting with the wording.
Keep everything simple and easy to understand, because this way nobody will misunderstand the question and therefore inaccurate answers can be avoided. Similarly, questions should be very specific. Avoid the temptation to squeeze two questions into one, so that you can get a clear and concise answer. However, at the same time you should not want to restrict the answers that can be given. Therefore, always allow an ‘other’ space to give the respondent a chance to answer the question in a different way if none of the options presented to them fit their view. Although the questions should be interesting, relevant to your target market and clear, anything that is personal in nature should certainly be optional. For example, the respondent may prefer not to state their age. Once the questions have been compiled, the survey can be put online using any one of the many survey software packages that are out there. However, if you have the IT expertise in-house, there is no reason not to include it on your own website. Indeed, the latter will have the advantage that you can use the same fonts, backgrounds and colours as the rest of the site, giving it a familiar feel. Whatever you do, make sure the survey is not too long, or few will take part.