Prefer to listen and watch? See the video version here.
Real-time guest feedback is not only a guide's best strategy for turning around the experience for a guest whose expectations haven't been met but is also an easy (and shockingly under-utilized) way to do market research;
In the times of Global Pandemics...it's also an excellent way to make sure your guests feel safe during your experience (or, more realistically, learn what safety elements they really aren't concerned about).
In this article, I'll outline 4 easy ways to get real-time customer feedback (that can be done with minimum resources).
4 WAYS TO GET FEEDBACK DURING YOUR TOUR
Ask guests midway how they're enjoying the tour.
Checking in on your guests halfway through the tour is something I recommend every guide do. It's a great way to identify those silent dissatisfied guests (who don't make any comments but then go home & ask for a refund) and shows great customer service. As a bonus, you can also snag some information about what the guests thought they were signing up for.
It can easily be done casually, by slipping in this questions while chatting with your guests between stops; "How is the tour going so far for you? Is it what you were expecting?". You can either do it one on one, or ask your group all at once. You'll be surprised how honest people are willing to be.
Ask what they loved most at the end of the tour.
If you're putting in the effort to create special moments (or, 'peaks') in your tour, a great way to see whether they're working (or a great way to figure out where to get started) is to ask your guests at the end; "What about today's tour will you remember the most?"
It prompts people to share positive memories, so it's also a fantastic way to end your tour on a high-note with everyone reminiscing about their favorite parts of the tour. It also tells you what stood out to them, and what didn't...
Make sure to send a survey post-tour.
Your survey doesn't have to be fancy, and not everyone will fill it out, but I think every company should be sending out a post-tour survey with AT LEAST the NPS score (How likely are you to recommend this tour to a friend 1-10?) and a few other questions (not too long!) about the guide's quality and the tour (whether it met expectations).
Whether or not you send personal thank-you emails from the guides (see my post-tour email template here), I think an extra 'automated' email from the company with the link to the review site plus this survey is an appropriate way to collect the info.
Take your own tours.
It baffles me how rarely managers hop on tours. It is the easiest way to get data straight from your customers. All I have to do on any tour is tell a guest that I'm 'evaluating' the guide/experience and for the rest of the trip they're giving me ALL their feedback (whether it's helpful or not).
It's so easy to casually chat with guests to find out where they came from, what other activities they booked, why they chose this particular tour, and, of course, what they think of the tour compared to others they've gone on. It all comes up easily in conversation.
It's also the only way you're going to see the tour in action. Tours evolve naturally, and I always recommend hopping on at least once a season to make sure it's not diverting from the brand. Please don't rely on your 5-star reviews to tell you how good your tours are, customers really have very little idea of what makes a good tour... Your standards should be higher than your customers.
As a bonus, you can also evaluate your guide (hint- I usually tell the guides that I'm gathering customer data even if I AM evaluating them so that they aren't as self-conscious).