In our last post, we shared tips for capturing amazing guest experience photos and videos. Putting that post together made us think of that old saying – “a picture is worth a thousand” words. Adventure tour operators know the only thing more valuable are great reviews. How do you ask for reviews to make sure you get a great one? How do you respond to a negative review to turn that unhappy guest into an advocate for your tour?
Grab a fresh cup of coffee and let’s talk tips for asking for reviews and how to respond to negative reviews.
It’s not only how to ask for reviews, it’s also when and where
Having posters or signs at your tour about reviews can work – but you’re not actively asking your guests. They are coming down off an adrenaline rush. Gear is being taken off and returned. It’s an awesome moment in time – but they’re not going to click the Yelp icon and leave a four-star review right now.
In the world of marketing, the goal is to have “the right message for the right person at the right time”. This same goal applies when asking for a review of your guests’ adventure tour experience. We need to add in one thing – the right channel.
Don’t leave your guests on read
Do you already use texting or SMS to communicate with your guests? Perfect – you’ve already got a great conversation channel with your guests. Follow up with a message thanking your guests for taking your adventure tour and ask for a review of their experience.
Adventure tours can make your guests feel like heroes. You can keep that feeling going by framing your ask for a review as a way for the guest to help make your tour even better for future guests.
Not sure what site your guests like to write their reviews? No worries – there’s a great platform called Podium to help with this. Podium lets you send out a review request by text or email. When your guests get the message, they can choose from Google, Yelp, or Facebook to write their reviews. This gets rid of the friction between your guest and writing that awesome review for your adventure tour.
Did you get my last email?
Email is still one of the best places to ask for a review. It’s a great rule of thumb to have a link to your adventure tour on Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, or Facebook on confirmation emails to your guests. If you don’t already have a newsletter for your adventure tour, now’s a great time to start. A monthly newsletter is a great way to build a long term relationship with your guest. They’re also great places to share positive reviews that can rally your guests to write their own.
Likes and hearts
Another great place to ask for a review is on one of your guests’ positive Instagram or Facebook posts. They had an awesome time. They’re stoked to share it with their friends. Take advantage of that positive vibe to like their post and thank them for joining you – and end with a call to action like
“Thanks for joining us! We’d love to see your review on TripAdvisor!”
It’s important that your adventure tour is easy to find across different social media channels. Make sure your avatar or bio photo is your logo and that it’s easy to identify. Also, use the same across all your social channels.
Finding your guests’ posts can be challenging sometimes – especially if they forget to tag you in their posts. Having a unique hashtag for your adventure tour is a great way to make those posts easy to find. Get your team together and come up with a few unique hashtag ideas. Search for the hashtag on Instagram and Twitter to find which one isn’t in use- or hasn’t shown up in a long time. Once you have the perfect hashtag, display it around your tour office and out on the tour where possible. It’s a great way to get your guests sharing and tagging. Even better, it makes it easier for you to find great posts to ask for a review.
Making it worth their while
Discounts and prizes are two great incentives for your guests to leave a review for your adventure tour. Offering a discount on a future adventure tour to use themselves or share with a friend is a great option. If you have the budget, you could also gift cards on sites like Amazon or an adventure gear outfitter like REI or MEC.
Hi Kate, thanks for joining us on the rapids for an awesome ride!
If you leave us a review on Google using the link below we’ll enter you into a draw to win a $250 gift card for you or a friend to join us again!
When to ask
You have guests from around the world taking your adventure tour, so timing your asks can be a challenge. According to ReviewTrackers.com, the best time to ask for a review is between 2 and 3 PM and 6 and 7 PM.
This is a great chance for you to do a little field testing to find the right time to send out the ask for a review. Try sending a follow-up for a review one day after the tour for one group and three days for another. Timing is everything and the best way to find what works is to keep track of when you send and the results you get.
Asking for a review when your customers purchase their photo or video packages through PicThrive is another great idea. Your guests are reliving that once-in-a-lifetime experience – it’s perfect timing to get them to share with others.
It’s great if you know where your guests are and can time your messages. If not, no worries – stick to email and social asks for reviews to avoid texting your guests at two in the morning!
Dealing with negative reviews
In the world of theater, the saying goes “Never ever, ever read your own reviews”. But we’re not in the theater – we’re zip-lining and rafting and rolling downhill. How much of an impact does responding to negative reviews have? Our friends at ReviewTrackers studied over 200,000 reviews in their system. They found that 45% of customers are more likely to visit a business that has responded to a negative review.
Responding to a negative review is more than an opportunity to make things right. Potential guests will see your great response. That can influence their choice of what adventure tour to take.
The off-season is a great time to check your reviews across review sites. Potential guests will be researching their travel plans. Seeing your responses can help influence their choice of your adventure tour.
Our friends at tourism tiger also have some tips on how to deal with difficult customers! Active listening is the most crucial aspect of responding to customer issues, as it should prompt you to respect the person, remember their feedback, and review what has been said. In addition to real time response, it is wise to keep in mind some measures to prevent situations like these from arising. Read more about it here!Tourism Tiger
A little empathy can go a long way. You may disagree with the review – and that’s ok. Apologizing is a great first step to turning your guests’ negative review around. Your apology should acknowledge their experience. This is a great opportunity to talk about the great experiences other guests have.
We’re sorry to hear about your experience. Our guests usually have the adventure of a lifetime on our rafting adventure. We’d like to make this right with you.
Take it offline
You never know how your response to a negative review will be received. The next step is to take the conversation offline as fast as possible.
Thanks for your feedback – we’re sad to hear that your experience wasn’t as great as you hoped. Can you email us firstname.lastname@example.org so we can get more info?
Use your response to get your guest to email in. It’ll give you a chance to get more details and keep the conversation between you and them. If you can, use a staff member’s email address to make it more personal. Your guest will be more likely to email a real human rather than a faceless support inbox.
The best way to ask for a review
The best place (in our humble opinion) to ask for a review is when you deliver your guests’ photo and video package using PicThrive.
You’ve got the right person – your guest. You’ve got the right message – asking for a review of their amazing adventure. Finally, you’ve got the last piece of the puzzle with the right time – your guests are reliving the adventure of a lifetime with photos and videos that only YOU can capture for them.