By Blake Ng — 20 Apr 2020
Many companies are making mistakes in processing tour feedback. This is directly impacting the reputation and referrals of tour operators and OTAs. Let’s look at how to optimize your feedback loop and grow your business. Reviews are THE seeds to referral and repeat business.
Reviews are a luxury to truly reconsider the guests’ expectations: Read and interpret them well. A dedicated team on each tour will help your organization to use the data efficiently. This team should consist of:
With clearly defined highlights and deliverables for each tour, the “review team” can distill the customer’s perception from the reviews. The diversity of the review team can read between the lines and finetune the tour.
Your review team can categorize, analyze and value the most impactful way(s) feedback comes to you. Define which type of feedback tells you really what you want/need to hear. With this analysis and definition of preferred feedback channels, your methods to use and steer feedback can be modified and help to improve your tours.
Reviews can be divided into roughly 3 types of feedback:
Now is the time to select your preferred pool of tour guides. Sounds hard and it is! Go through your reviews and hold them against your pool of tour guides. Who gets the best reviews? Your feeling may be different from the written reviews. Words clearly describe the difference between excellent, good and average.
Decide on the minimum number of guides you need to run your products. Refrain from starting with new guides each time. Instead, invest in excellent tour guides. Set up a coaching/buddy system and set parameters to reach the training goals based on reviews. Follow through!
Train this group based on the highlights and deliverables you need to see reflected in their future reviews. This grows their capacity and their commitment to you. For ideas on appropriate eCourses check out EastguidesWest.
Tour operators depend on excellent service delivery. That excellent service comes from your tour guides. Using the performance indicators in structured feedback forms targets ‘per tour’ goals from unsatisfactory – or below average ratings – to 100% satisfaction raving reviews.
Without soliciting for “excellence” your tour guides on-stage can tell you, what guests really (dis-)like. The review team should steer feedback forms on the best and weakest performance indicators “on stage”.
Written By – Sjannie Hulsman-Louwers– Co-Founder & Owner, EastguidesWest.
ITMI-certified in tourism, Sjannie holds an Executive MBA of Rotterdam School of Management, a Master in European Tourism Management and a Bachelor in Tourism and Economics. She worked in the tourism and professional services industry for over 30 years and gained her experience all over the world. As a Tour Director herself, she has many practical tips to share.