3 Ingredients to Success for Your Tour and Activity Business

14 Oct 2013     |    Taz Bareham

Niche tours and activities need to stand out to succeed – and to stand out, you can’t just be good – you need to be great. But what makes your business aim for success?

To be great, you have to provide the best possible experience for your customers. That means that you prove your worth, have a great team, and be extremely organised…

1. A great product

This is obvious. The experience you sell needs to cater to the desires of your best customers. If it isn’t great, then they won’t recommend you to their friends. In fact, if it was particularly bad experience, they might even spread negative word about your business!

If your main customer base is the youth travel market, then understand that the motivations behind their travel has shifted. Young travelers seek enriching cultural experiences. This means that you need to give them something that both excites and educates them about your destination’s culture, because it will be more memorable and valuable to them.

Remember that your product doesn’t just involve the actual tour or activity itself – it includes their entire experience with you, including how you well you serviced them prior to making the booking, whether you were good at keeping them informed, and how you saw them off as they were leaving.

2. A great team

Who you hire is so important because you’re in the hospitality industry. Your staff have to be great at customer service. This means that they’re sensitive to the needs of others, are comfortable speaking to groups of people, and have the necessary experience and skills needed to help you run your business.

To run tours and activities, besides having the accreditation needed, staff should also have the right kind of personality. Are they highly motivated to please your customers? Are they good with leading a group of people? Are they extremely organised?

Since they are delivering the experience you want your customers to have, it’s important to make sure that they are capable of providing a high level of customer service. However, you should also be willing to give them the tools they need to do their jobs well.

3. A great set of tools

It’s your responsibility to invest in technology that makes you and your staff’s lives simpler. Being organised hugely impacts the level of customer service you can provide to your customers.

For example, in this day and age, you need to have a well-functioning and up-to-date website for anyone to take your business seriously. Part of this is having an easy and efficient booking process. This is the bare minimum!

Other tools you can use are mobile devices, meaning smartphones and tablets. Being able to attend to business from any place at any time is really the key reason that these are useful for tours and activities:

  • You can check weather conditions by the hour
  • You can look up addresses and map your route
  • You can look up traffic conditions
  • You can use applications like Skype to chat with clients overseas
  • You can take quick photos and videos of your customers for promotional use
  • You can use your tablet to show guests what to expect (in the form of a slideshow or video)
  • Your online booking software should allow you to manage your business from your tablet (ours does)

The important thing to remember is that your devices don’t interrupt your time with your customers. Give them your total attention when you are with them.