Feedback is an important aspect of a tour operation because it gives you a chance to see what your customers do and don’t like about your tour, and how you could improve your tour product.
But constructive feedback usually only comes to light if someone is prompted to share (unless something really bad happens!). That’s why feedback forms should be a key part of any post-tour operation.
How you choose to collect your feedback should be based on your audience. If you’re working with Gen Ys, online surveys might be a good option, but if your customers aren’t as tech-savvy a pen and paper works just as well.
There’s also nothing wrong with making a follow-up call to garner feedback. However, following up at a later date can be a double edged sword. Your customers might have forgotten about the finer details of the trip and could find it challenging to step back into the moments of excitement and joy that they experienced on the tour. Or they could have had time to think about the trip and can only recall the less-desirable parts of the trip, as humans we tend to remember the negatives before the positives.
Deciding how you’ll gather the feedback is important, but the most important part is carefully selecting what questions to ask your customers. Asking the customer about their personal experience is more effective than asking them to score your service. It’s all about quality over quantity and the better your questions are, the more data you will have to improve and tweak your tour.
So what should you put on customer feedback forms? Here are 6 questions you must ask to get the best feedback!
1. How did you hear about us?
Obviously you want to know what marketing is or isn’t working for you. Sure, the customer may have booked through a distributor, but how exactly did they hear about you? Was it through internet search, maybe it was a magazine article, or maybe it was through word of mouth from a neighbour.
2. How happy are you with the tour?
This open-ended question allows for varying answers. Those who feel like contributing a lot can go into specific detail and might even provide you with information you can use to improve other aspects of your tour.
Of course there’s a chance that you get comments from customers who weren’t quite so happy with their experience. Try not to take critical feedback personal, but see it as an opportunity to continuously improve your business. While you’ll never be able to please everyone, it’s important to evaluate negative feedback objectively to understand whether there’s really something you could be doing better or if you’re just dealing with an unreasonable complainer.
3. How well did we communicate? Please give details.
Feedback on the communication skills of your tour guides give you the opportunity to learn how the guides are when you’re not around. This question opens up an opportunity for you to give them more training, or to acknowledge a job well done. Adding the ‘please give details’ to the end of the question prompts the customer to expand on their answer.
4. How could we have made your trip better?
Asking this prompts the user to explain specifically what could have been done. For example, you might need to reconsider restaurant choices or if there are enough bathroom breaks. It’s this kind of insight that will make your tour stand out from the competition.
5. What made you choose our tour?
You can use this to learn a lot about your competitive edge if the answers are specific enough. When you know why exactly they chose you, you can highlight this in future marketing campaigns.
6. How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend?
Word of mouth is an important way to keep the customers coming in and this question gives you the answer you need most. If you’re collecting the information straight after the tour and you find a respondent had a particularly negative experience, this is your chance to nip it in the bud. This kind of swift response could be the difference between a scathing or positive review on sites such as TripAdvisor.
It’s not all bad
Sure, hearing someone didn’t like your offering can hurt. But if you’re providing A-class service and giving your customers the best experience possible, you’ve got nothing to worry about. It’s all a learning experience and constructive criticism is just part of life and growing as a business. And of course, there are always people out there who aren’t going to be happy. In the tourism industry we deal with often unavoidable and unexpected events and there’s not much you can do other than keep your guests comfortable. But right now, feedback is critical to growth and without knowing how your customers feel and what they want you can’t improve and beat the competition.
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