Every business will face positive or negative feedback—tour operators and activity providers included. The challenge lies in getting more positive tour feedback that will increase your business credibility and trust amongst potential customers.
Have you ever heard of the old saying: “The customer is always right”? That is true in most cases. Even more in the travel industry, in which customer service is at the core of any business.
It’s common knowledge that good customer service equals more returning customers, which means spending less on marketing efforts. So, there are indeed many reasons to get more positive tour feedback and reviews from your guests.
Statistics and findings from researches are always helpful if you want to get the big picture. So, let’s take a look at the key ‘takeaways’ from Bright Local’s report Local Consumer Review Survey 2020:
Now that you are convinced about the importance of positive reviews for your business, let’s take a look at how you can get tour feedback from your guests.
Be aware that very few customers are going to go out of their way to find out where to give you tour feedback, submit a review, or rate your business. No matter how great the experience was to them.
Therefore, make it as easy as possible for customers to share their experience by sending them a direct link to your profile page on review sites or encouraging the customer to rate your company on Facebook or Google.
In addition, even hand out postcards or business cards that list URLs to review sites as customers leave. Don’t be afraid to ask them directly.
Asking for their feedback after the trip could have a great impact on the number of reviews you receive.
Another option is performing a service survey. That could be a multiple-choice form, the simplest way to get feedback.
Take Viet Expert Travel Feedback Form as an example of a tour guide feedback form. Of course, don’t copy. Adapt it to the reality of your business.
After having it filled out, ask permission to publish their response online.
Sending your guests an email asking for feedback after their trip and also thanking them for joining your experience is essential. Even better if you catch the timing.
The biggest advantage of using those platforms is that you can schedule your post-trip emails based on specific triggers.
If you set up it correctly, the message asking for tour feedback can be sent automatically one day or one week after the tour. No more email reminders!
Another advantage is that those tools allow a great level of personalization. For example, you could add the customer name or business to the email subject.
Sending your past guests this type of message is a great opportunity to ask them to contact you directly if they had any problems or were not satisfied with their experience.
This opens up the line of communication and adds a personal touch to the entire experience, which is a great tactic for you. There is also the possibility to turn a potentially negative review into a positive one.
Hold your horses! I’m not talking about bribing your customers to post a review. It’s important to understand the difference between that and encouraging more customers to share their tour feedback.
You could give a discount on a future visit to all customers that take the time to complete a short feedback survey after their trip, or rate your business on a review platform.
Another type of incentive may come in a way of a contest. Encourage customers to submit a review to participate in a contest to win a gift card or gift certificate.
The prize could also be receiving tickets for one of your experiences, or an exclusive package for the season.
Giving something in return for tour feedback will pay off as your online credibility grows with the reviews.
Tour operators that maintain a positive social media presence may be able to garner more reviews and customer feedback than those who do not.
Your social media audience tends to spend more, engage more, advocate more, and be more loyal to your brand. This is why it’s imperative for tour businesses to invest time in social media activities on some level.
You could simply follow up on all comments posted on your Facebook page. Or respond to all reviews—which is crucial.
This will show your customers that you’re more than willing to communicate and interact with them—an important element of great customer service.
The great thing about platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram is that you can easily promote the reviews about your tour business and tag the author.
By doing that you give recognition to the person who gave the feedback, generating engagement and also increasing the trust in your business reviews.
Customers who see how other reviewers are treated—whether promoting video testimonials or a customer’s comments on social media—could get inspired to share their own tour feedback.
This should be a no-brainer.
First impressions and final impressions are going to leave a lasting effect on your customers.
How your staff welcomes visitors as they settle in and how the customers feel when they leave your tour will be some of the most memorable interactions your customer will have outside of the actual experience.
Train your guides to mention that they would appreciate receiving tour feedback in the form of reviews. Also, discuss reviews as a team, acknowledge good reviews, and use negative reviews as a tool for improvement.
Leave customers with a token of your appreciation in the form of a thank you card, a gift bag, or any other type of tangible souvenir to leave a lasting impression.
When possible, offer complimentary upgrades to your guests. That could be extra time or experience in addition to the standard product they have purchased.
Consider how many customers would be spreading the word about free upgrades when booking a tour. Or how thrilled they would be after receiving a free gift or souvenir upon departure.
These things may be just what it takes to set your company apart from other tour and activity operators in the area.
The bottom line is that small gestures will help a customer feel more welcome and connected to your company—and may generate positive tour feedback.
A tour operator may focus mainly on delivering amazing experiences for customers and introducing them to a new activity.
But don’t forget the importance of the customer service experience before your visitor even gets there.
By using an online booking software to coordinate reservations, you want to make sure customers are going through a seamless checkout process.
According to a Statista report, in 2020 the online shopping cart abandonment rate was 80% for the tourism industry. That could be because the checkout process is too complicated or appears insecure.
Other reasons include a checkout flow process that is too lengthy and technical difficulties with the shopping cart.
So, if you can present a seamless checkout process for your customers, you can not only secure a booking but also get positive tour feedback.
It’s impossible to expect that all of your customers are going to be happy customers.
Some tour operators are more than eager to hide negative reviews under the rug, but it’s not going to help. In fact, it’s more likely to hurt.
Learning how to handle negative reviews effectively, however, can open up the door for more positive reviews since customers will see that you are open to rectify a seemingly difficult situation.
Sometimes the best approach is turning the comment around by apologizing sincerely and then highlighting what you do right.
You might initially think that negative reviews are bad for your tour company, but they’re not.
Negative reviews make good reviews more authentic. But don’t have many of them, of course.
Anything you post publicly that shows a casual visitor that you take care of your customers can improve your online image.
Responding to reviews shows travelers and potential customers that you genuinely value their feedback. And that you’re eager to provide the best, most enjoyable experience.
Embracing reviews, good or bad, helps you in growing your business. Nothing better than an outsider to point out your weaknesses and strengths.
Was there an issue with timing? Do you need to make the booking process more efficient?
Remember, the best judges are your customers! So, take their feedback with an open heart to improve your experiences and attract more good attention down the road.
Like all things in social media and user-generated content, reviews need to be managed. It means you need to constantly pay attention to them.
Strive to continually increase positive reviews, and always make sure to respond to your most recent reviews.
Posting fake reviews, using boosting techniques, or posting fake reviews on your competitors’ sites are all actions that will jeopardize your credibility and image over time.
Trust me, you don’t want to do any of those activities.
Instead, use all of the possibilities mentioned in this article and steadily, but successfully, increase your positive reviews.
Receiving tour feedback in the form of reviews is utterly important for any business with an online presence.
The ideas presented in this article are of great help for tour operators looking for getting more positive reviews.
If you want more ideas on how to grow your tour company online, join our LinkedIn group!
There you can join interesting discussions about online marketing for tour operators and also share your experience in getting positive reviews from your guests.
on July 7, 2021
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