Tour and activity operators are in the business of delivering valuable experiences.
This is what makes strong quality assurance procedures both absolutely necessary and inherently more challenging.
Your quality assurance program is there to make sure your products are in the best shape possible, and that procedures are in place to keep them that way. It’s there to reduce internal mistakes, and increase customer satisfaction.
Here are the basic things you can’t afford to leave out of your tour’s quality assurance plan.
You need to have a clear understanding of the qualifications needed for each person holding a position in your company, especially if they are instructing your tour or activity.
Outline all of the training and qualifications required to carry out specific tasks, and which documents you need (eg. all tour guides need a First Aid certificate and a police check).
Each person’s job description needs to be absolutely clear, no matter what position they hold. Have a look at our blog post on tour guide characteristics to give you some ideas.
All training and operational tasks need to be reported to upper management.
Some processes to think about – recruitment of staff, cleaning equipment, processing bookings, creating tour manifests, locking up, managing cancellations, launching tour groups, getting customers to sign your liability release, tracking special requirements, and picking up customers.
For each process, you need to develop standard operating procedures.
Share this with your employees.
Once you’ve set a solid foundation for your quality assurance program, it’s time to use customer and staff feedback to continually improve your tour products.
Unhappy customers should be your #1 priority when it comes to responding to feedback. But with a good complaints handling policy, tour operators can turn that negative feedback into a positive experience.
To appropriately investigate customer complaints:
To collect feedback, make sure it’s included as an automated email in your post-tour process.
Your employees’ feedback is crucial to turning insights into action. They are immersed in your processes and will be able to give you a valuable other perspective, suggesting improvements for how to make your business more efficient.
Your staff will appreciate their inclusion in the process. They will feel empowered to change and take action.
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