By Taz Bareham — 28 Mar 2016
Updated 25 May 2021 – Prior to the onset of the busy travel season, you should make a pledge to yourself. This is the year you will become a better tour operator. Not that you’re a bad one — you have personality, your own sense of style, and your visitors love that they complete the tour feeling informed but knowing they also had fun. But that doesn’t meant that there isn’t room for improvement. The bottom line is, when you’re a better tour operator, your business will be more successful.
Perhaps your tours are highly dependent on the weather, or maybe you have a problem with last-minute cancellations on your scheduled activities. Solve this issue by creating a cancelation policy, providing it to your customers when they book, and enforcing it when necessary. Rules are rules, and your business will suffer if you don’t create a policy that protects you and the other travelers hoping to enjoy the activity.
Send an automatic e-mail to all of your customers who have tours booked for the day, and remind them about the arrival time for the upcoming event. Include an easy-to-use button that allows them to check-in themselves. This helps you create an accurate manifest, and it saves time at the beginning of the tour when everyone is arriving.
Once the experience is complete, encourage your customers to provide you with immediate feedback. Send them an e-mail that allows them to instantly rate your tours, and offer them a chance to provide further information if necessary. You can use free tools such as Survey Monkey to collect feedback from your customers. As a tour operator this feedback is essential to growing your business and providing tours that customers want.
Unfortunately, you aren’t going to please everybody, no matter how hard you try. When you have a dissatisfied customer, attempt to see things from their point of view. Even if the situation was out of your control, do what you can in order to make it right. Even when they are unhappy, as a tour operator most customers will appreciate your responsiveness. Don’t let negative feedback just sit in your TripAdvisor Profile.
Let your travelers know where they can connect with you online, specifically providing them with information about your social networking pages. And don’t forget to join the conversation — it makes your company feel more human and relatable.
If you haven’t already, you also need to implement an online booking system that is designed specifically for tour and activity providers. Rezdy is the only all-encompassing platform available that actively works to increase bookings for tour and activity operators. In addition to offering a user-friendly, cloud-based booking system, Rezdy also includes a Channel Manager that allows you to improve your distribution network and promote your brand to a larger audience.
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