Hospitality and guest service is not easy to measure internally. The only way to truly assess the quality of guest service is to get timely accurate feedback from the end user. Self-evaluations are inaccurate and deceptive due to our inherent blindness to our faults, and our tendency to overrate our strengths.
Why "traditional" methods of customer evaluations fail:
- Leaders are the ones responding not the attendees. Group leaders can be from a different demographic (i.e. adult leader with a youth group) than the average attendee. The sampling (ratio of respondents to guests) is very low and potentially inaccurate.
- People hate to write additional comments UNLESS they are VERY angry or extremely happy. Most are neither.
- People forget the small details of their experience and tend to "average out" the response based on the total experience.
- People want to please, so they may give you higher marks than you deserve.
How do you harvest accurate guest feedback? Four factors:
- Timing: The questions are best asked immediately after the experience. Such as: "How was your shower this morning?" "How was the beach this afternoon?" "How was the food this evening?"
- Detail: Genius is in the details. Instead of just asking about the food, ask about the temperature of the food, cleanliness of the line, portions, seasoning, and appearance. Or ask about the particular menu items such as the bread, salad bar, meat loaf, pie, etc.
- Quantity: Ask enough people from the group to get statistical accuracy. 1:10 is considered a statistical minimum.
- Who asks: If someone who is clearly employed by the property is doing the survey, it will limit the response from many respondents. Using a third party or volunteer, who makes it clear they are neutral, will enable people to speak freely about their experience.