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Not every guest will voluntarily share their appreciation or complaints.
According to Yonder, only 2-5% of guests will take the initiative to write an online review, and that’s usually because they either had an extremely positive experience that they can’t wait to tell the world about or an extremely negative one.
So what about the rest of your guests? Their feedback matters too. Especially since they might have insight into the small details that the positive and negative reviewers often overlook. Not to mention, 95% of travelers read online reviews before booking, so you might be missing out by not having enough positive feedback on review sites.
Well, the secret to getting more tour feedback and improving your Tripadvisor ranking is actually quite simple. You have to ask! By asking for feedback, you can get more responses. In fact, 70% of guests will write a review when asked by a business.
We’ll go over the best way to ask for tour feedback and how to measure guest happiness.
Asking customers for feedback
The easiest and most effective way to ask guests for feedback is through email. Unlike asking them right after the experience, “how was that for you?” where you only get a vague reply like, “that was incredible!” or “best time of my life!” or “I learned so much!” you’re more likely to get a detailed overview of what they did or didn’t enjoy.
That’s because, with email, it’s just you and them. There’s no tour guide within earshot. Or a father-in-law who paid for the whole thing. They can be totally open and honest because no one else is around to listen. But also, they won’t feel put on the spot or pressured by time if they need to be somewhere else or their group is getting ready to leave. They actually have time to process the experience and think about their answer.
And while you can ask guests to reply with their tour feedback, it’s a much better strategy to send a survey. They might not know what to say or have time to craft a thoughtful response, especially when they’re still busy enjoying their vacation. By prompting them with questions instead, you can make it quick and simple for them.
Plus, it’s not only easier for them; it’s also easier for you. That’s because you can use the survey to get a quantifiable measurement of guest happiness to track your company’s performance over time.
Let’s go over the two most common metrics that brands rely on for doing this.
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
A Customer Satisfaction Score is a metric used to determine whether a guest feels that you met their expectations.
On a scale of 1 to 5, you ask how satisfied they were with the experience — 1 being not at all satisfied and 5 as very satisfied. It’s calculated by dividing the number of very satisfied and satisfied guests by the number of respondents, multiplied by 100. You then follow up with the question, “What can we do to make the experience better?”
Number of satisfied guests / number of respondents x 100 = CSAT Score
Unfortunately, there isn’t a CSAT benchmark for the tours and activities industry yet (feel free to let us know what yours is once your start measuring), so just use hotels as a reference for now, which is 76%.
When should you use it?
It’s best to use a CSAT score when you want to get an immediate pulse on a guest’s reaction to the experience.
What’s great about this survey methodology is that it’s pretty straightforward, and the follow-up question usually elicits specific answers because most guests will have one thing that they think could’ve been better. “I had a great time, but I sometimes couldn’t hear the local guide over the noise of the traffic and crowd.”
The downside, however, is that it tends to attract guests who either had a very positive experience or a very negative one. Those who fit somewhere in the middle are often less inclined to take the survey. Not to mention, it’s also subject to cultural bias since people from individualistic countries are more likely to pick the extreme sides.
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
On the other hand, a Net Promoter Score is a metric used to identify whether someone will promote your business to their social network, whether that’s family, friends, or fellow travelers they meet during their trip.
This time, you ask how likely they are to recommend the experience to a friend on a scale of 0 to 10, organizing the answers into three categories:
- Promoters: guests who choose either 9 or 10 will be enthusiastic about sharing their experience, both online and in social situations
- Passives: guests who are neutral will score a 7 or 8, meaning they may or may not refer your business to friends and family
- Detractors: guests who pick between 0-6 are usually unwilling to refer your business, or worse, risk negative word-of-mouth
To calculate your NPS score, you simply subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. And you can expand on their reasoning by asking a follow-up question such as, “Can you explain why you gave us that score?”
% of Promoters – % of Detractors = NPS
When should you use it?
You should use an NPS score to evaluate a guest’s long-term loyalty and overall impression of your brand. It’s best suited if you target locals or don’t get many repeat bookings because you can use it to measure customer retention and word-of-mouth marketing.
With an NPS survey, guests can be fiercely honest. People usually pride themselves on their recommendations because it reflects their tastes and standards, so if they score big, that means you’ve successfully landed their stamp of approval. You can then reach out to them and ask for a website testimonial because they’ll be the most willing.
However, the disadvantage of using the NPS method is that it’s not always specific enough in identifying why guests are Detractors and what you can do to pull them back on your side.
Examples of tour feedback questions
It’s best to section off your tour feedback questions based on a guest’s score, whether you use the CSAT or NPS survey methodology. In other words, you’ll want to create custom workflows with relevant follow-up questions. Here are two examples:
1. CSAT questions
Of course, you’ll start off by asking:
- On a scale of 1 to 5, how satisfied were you with the experience?
Then ask your guests who score a 4 or 5 the following questions:
- What area of the experience do you think we do really well?
- What did you enjoy most about the experience?
As for guests who score a 1, 2, or 3, you can ask:
- What area of the experience do you think we can improve?
- What can we do to make the experience better?
2. NPS questions
Start off by asking:
- On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend this experience to a friend?
For guests who are Promoters, you can ask:
- We’re thrilled to hear that. How would you describe the experience to a friend?
As for guests who score as Passives:
- What is one thing we can do differently to make the experience better?
And guests who are Detractors:
- Our apologies for not meeting your expectations. Care to tell us why?
3. Other questions
While a short and sweet survey will get more responses, you may want to change it up by getting more specific feedback with questions like:
- How would you rate our tour guides?
- How did you hear about us?
- How well did we communicate the tour details?
- Was it easy to get to the meeting location? If not, how come?
- How did you find the booking process?
- What’s one thing the experience is missing?
- What stops did you enjoy the most? The least?
- What’s the coolest thing you learned about [insert destination] from the tour?
- What did you find to be the most interesting part of the tour?
- Was there anything that prevented you from enjoying the tour?
Setting up a tour feedback survey
If you haven’t set up an email survey before, there are plenty of online tools available, like SurveyMonkey. But we highly recommend going with customer feedback software that integrates with your booking system, such as Yonder, because your guest responses will automatically tie to their booking details for easier and more detailed tracking.
Luckily, Yonder integrates with Checkfront and Bobbie Mulgrew, the Managing Director of Easyhike has already seen incredible results, going from 1-2 responses per month to an average of 40%. You can read the full case study here.
“We were emailing out to all of our customers from our booking system, trying to get feedback where we could and encouraging them to write reviews online. I’m always open to trying new things and improving what we’re doing. I wondered if using Yonder would make our survey feel more legit and whether it would encourage more customers to write reviews and it has, we’ve seen an increase in reviews since using it.””
Plus, the Yonder Customer Survey is explicitly designed for tour operators, only takes ten seconds to set up, and sees an average response rate of 35% because rating buttons are built right into the actual email. All you need to do is customize the colours, upload your logo, and add any follow-up questions to get more insight.
You can also edit the final message depending on a guest’s score. For instance, you can acknowledge that a Detractor’s feedback will help your business improve. Whereas, for Promoters, you can prompt them to write a review, which Yonder makes easy by directing them to your preferred travel review sites using share buttons. Easyhike was able to increase their Google Reviews by 500% this way!
How to set up a Google Forms Feedback Survey
While a beautifully designed survey will help you attract more responses, we understand that you may be looking for a free alternative. So, you can always set up a makeshift feedback survey using Google Forms.
With this online tool, you can add a question for either the CSAT or NPS survey using a linear scale, but we recommend going with multiple choice because it allows you to create custom workflows based on scores to get more specific feedback on what you do well or can improve.
For example, let’s say a guest selects Satisfied or Very Satisfied. They’d automatically go to the next section with a follow-up question like, “What did you enjoy most about the experience?” Whereas someone that selects Neutral, Unsatisfied, or Very Unsatisfied would see the follow-up question as “What can we do to make the experience better?”
You can also customize the survey by adding a brand colour to the background, uploading a banner image, like your logo or a photo that represents the experience, writing a title, such as “Help improve [your business name],” or “We value your feedback,” and filling out a short description that tells guests exactly how your business is going to use their tour feedback.
Note: Unlike Yonder which comes with a review prompt you can toggle on or off depending on a guest’s score, you’ll have to add this to the description in your thank-you section for the positive workflow. The only downside is that Google Forms doesn’t allow embedded hyperlinks in the text. But you can still direct them to a review site by copying and pasting the URL.
It’s one thing to ask for tour feedback, and another to do something with it. Make sure you take our complete FREE course (guidebook included) to find out how you can keep track of all the feedback that starts rolling in, analyze it to pick out priorities of what to improve or enhance, and deliver feedback to your guides by empowering them.