How to ask for feedback

Asking direct open questions

Make it easy for your customers to give you the feedback you need. Making statements such as “I hope you enjoyed your meal” or “was everything all right for you?” is not likely to get the customer to open up. We need to ask specific questions that will give something more than a yes or no. Open questions starting with how or what are the most useful; for example “how would you rate…”, “how could we improve on…”, “what did you like most about…”

Capture the good and the bad. Even if you don’t agree with feedback, you need to find out (tactfully) what has led to their perception, as this may lead to the root of the problem.

Questionnaires are impersonal and few people like to fill them in except maybe when they’re really unhappy about something. Questionnaires can help you rectify your mistakes, but they often dwell on negatives rather than positives. Although face to face will always be preferably some people will always be reluctant to feedback first hand so don’t dismiss them altogether.

Visitors Books on the other hand are another good way of capturing general feedback. Although they may not go into specifics, they provide a great record for other to see and people will often write things that they would not say directly to you.

Make the best of the positive comments you receive and ask your guest if they would be happy to use these as testimonials in your marketing – prospective customers like to see social proof.

Also take note of the language your guests use to describe what they like. Capitalise on this information and use the same language it in your marketing.

Tomorrow we’ll look at getting the best from your online reviews