You’re Not Alone! 5 Common Operator Pain Points Solved
With 1,400+ operators currently in Community (and counting), we are able to get firsthand insight into the problems our clients are facing. And this helps us identify which topics you want to see on Compass.
Operators across the globe are asking questions, sharing their expertise, and making connections to better their business and grow their knowledge every day in Community. We rounded up a few of the major issues we have seen our clients face recently — and added ways you can mitigate them!
Read on to see if you are in need of guidance on any of the following obstacles faced by tour operators.
Problem: I Want to Drive More Bookings
Whether you are looking to ramp up bookings for a specified time of year or need an extra bump in reservations all year long, there are countless ways to make that happen. What works for your business will depend on many factors, but we’ve put together a list of several ways you can increase your sales.
The first step is to examine your current booking patterns. Look into your data (such as Google Analytics) as you aim to answer the following questions.
- Where are your bookings coming from? That could be Google, OTAs, social media, or another source.
- When do most of your bookings occur in a year or season? This will help you identify your high and low seasons.
- Who is booking your tours? It is important to understand your target audience.
The answers to these questions will dictate which channels, time periods, and audiences you should be capitalizing on. This can mean spending extra ad dollars, increasing your social media posting, and more.
Another great tip comes from our Director of Account Management: Focus on your bread and butter activities. He has seen immense success for operators who focus solely on their most profitable experiences rather than having too many options.
Pro Tip: Use the tips found in our conversion playbook to find tactics to boost your bookings. This checklist features vital Dashboard tricks and features, ways to optimize your website and mobile site, and simple tips to improve your customer experience.
Problem: I Need to Improve Staffing
Finding the right team for your business can be difficult, especially for seasonal activities. You want reliable, hard-working, passionate employees — but they can be hard to attain! Below are a few ways you can attract the right talent for your operation.
- While you may not have hundreds of applications every year, it is still vital to be selective in your hiring process. Clearly define the skills and expertise you want each candidate to have and make sure your new hires check all of those boxes.
- Create a permanent jobs page. In our digital world, this will be the easiest way for people to apply to your open positions.
- Invest in current employees to reduce your turnover rate. This can be anything from healthcare or increased pay to promotions, PTO, or anything in between.
Problem: I Don’t Know How to Promote my New Offering
When you decide to expand your business by creating a new experience — whether that be a private tour offering, custom tour experience, or a completely new venture — you want to get the word out fast and get your customers excited!
Here are a few ways to hit the ground running with your new tour or activity.
Similar to the steps we mentioned to get more bookings, a great way to learn how to market your new offering is by looking at your data. Determine which marketing channels have worked best for you in the past and go where your target audience already is.
Aside from the marketing channels your audience is familiar with, you can also advertise the new experience in the few other places as well.
- Create an ad on your website which would encourage more direct bookings. Put it in a prime location, such as a callout banner at the top of the page.
- If you have an email newsletter, the new tour should be headline news.
- Announce the new tour or activity on your social pages. Then, once you have some reviews, share the positive experience along with some videos and images to create FOMO (fear of missing out).
Pro Tip: Read this guide to learn the four questions you should ask yourself before starting a new tour, along with some additional tips on how you can promote it.
Problem: My Business Doesn’t Have Enough [Positive] Reviews
We all know that 5-star reviews are a great way to spark more bookings. With 81% of customers looking at online reviews before making a purchase (Tripadvisor), gaining customer reviews is essential. Luckily, we’ve got a few low-lift tricks up our sleeve to make this happen.
Simply put, the more times you ask for a review (without going overboard, of course), the more likely you are to get a review. It’s important to strike while the iron is hot — meaning that you should ask for reviews shortly after your customers visit your business. This is the perfect time for them to share with others while the experience is fresh in their minds.
- Include review links in your follow-up emails.
- Create name tags or signage for your tour guides that feature a QR code linking to the review site of your choice.
- Verbally remind each customer as they are leaving your business to leave a review.
Pro Tip: Looking for more ways to encourage reviews and referrals? We’ve got a handy guide that features five tips here.
Problem: My Business Gets Too Many Phone Calls
Lowering the number of customer phone calls can save you valuable time and money. With your staff not tied up on the phone, you and our team are able to focus on other aspects of the business — such as giving exemplary service to your on-site customers.
This is what you can do to avoid excessive phone calls.
First and foremost, make sure all information on your website and Dashboard is completely up to date to avoid customer confusion.
You should also have all essential details about your tours and policies clearly stated on your website — for instance, your bad weather policy, cancellation policy, duration of the tours, etc. A great place to put this information is on your website’s FAQ page. You can then link the FAQ page in your confirmation emails and all item descriptions.
If it’s conducive to the types of calls you are getting, consider implementing a recorded answering message with a call tree to avoid your staff needing to answer every call.
Pro Tip: Read our comprehensive checklist for even more ways you can reduce phone volume with simple changes to your website.
You’re not alone when facing problems in your business. Join Community today to chat with your peers and learn how they overcome these pain points and more.