Who is the GetYourGuide Customer and how can you wow them?
As presented in our third Originals guide webinar, the GetYourGuide customer is the “tourist”. People of all ages and backgrounds travel, so rather than falling into a specific demographic, the tourist is defined more by a set of values: “tourists” prioritize travel in their lives, have bucket lists and want to check the boxes of their destination, and aren’t satisfied just “seeing” a place — they want to really experience it.
The tourist persona can be broken down into 4 main profiles at GetYourGuide: Solo Travelers, Curious Couples, Fun-seeking Families and Silver Surfers.
GetYourGuide completed a thorough research study recently where we discovered a lot more about our customers’ traits, their reasons for booking, and what is most important to them. Here is a snapshot of some of the data we looked at during the presentation.
We learnt that the customer really values inside knowledge and the potential to learn or see something that they wouldn’t have without a local expert. That’s why you are so integral to our customers’ experience.
So, how can you be sure to provide the best possible experience?
A big thank you to the incredible GetYourGuide Originals guides from across the world who reached out and shared their best tips and stories with us during our webinar series. We gathered all the contributions and summarised them in a handy table for you below. We suggest that there are three opportunities to wow the customer: before the tour when you meet and greet and get to know them, during the tour itself and those few minutes at the end of the tour when you wrap it up. Check out our favourite examples for each one.
#1 Make it about them
We have a very useful tip from a guide in the UK who told us “You know those 15 minutes ‘to kill’ before the tour? Use them!”. Ask the customers where they have travelled from, have they been before, what did they see last time, where are they going next… This will help them settle in, make them feel special that you care so much, but also allows you to learn about their expectations, their hopes, their grasp of the language, etc. This means you can tailor the tour to give them the best possible experience.
#2 Make them feel comfortable
Mike, a guide from Berlin, told us how he very kindly always carries around extra pairs of gloves and hats to keep his customers warm in the cold winter of Berlin. But he doesn’t forget his summer groups either; he brings sunscreen for them! How sweet!
Stan from 360 Amsterdam Tours, who spoke during our H&S session, has already started giving tours in Amsterdam and he told us about how he makes social distancing a bit more fun by using a 1.5m stick to remind customers how far to stand apart from one another. He says it usually gets a laugh but it reminds them all they are taking it seriously.
#3 Break the ice
Pedro, the Originals guide in Portugal that we spoke to in our last newsletter, also told us how the current Covid-19 situation is helping break the ice on tour. He explained how customers from different countries compare what is happening in their country to Portugal and it gets them talking and sharing.
Our lovely guide, Hélène from Paris, joined our webinar in April to tell us about how she takes some time at the start of her tours to break the ice and how beneficial this is. Hélène starts her tours by getting the group involved. She asks an open question, for example about the similarity between two contrasting architectural buildings. She says it makes the customers think and get creative and have a bit of fun; it is just about observation and sharing their thoughts. She finds this gives the group more confidence, making them more comfortable and able to relax, enjoy the tour and ask questions and get involved.
#4 Create suspense
Romy in Barcelona shared a great bit of advice with us, and that is to create suspense. If you know there is an incredible part of the tour that customers really love to see, make sure you build it up and get them excited about it. Say something like “I know that you are dying to see the viewpoint but before that let me explain about this”. Romy maintains it makes them appreciate it so much more when it actually happens.
#5 Fun stories
People love to have fun, so if the tour calls for it, have a little fun with it. Claudia in Rome really loves fun, short stories with historical context. She really enjoyed hearing from a guide about how Michelangelo was known for never taking off his boots and therefore Raffaello drew him in the Vatican with them on. Anthony, a guide in Paris, loves to point out a portrait of Louis XV and his wife, in which the wife is holding a dog but Louis is not. He says the dog is a symbol of fidelity. Hint, hint!
#6 Make it interactive
Get the group engaged and make them a part of the tour. We had a great example of this from a tour in Versailles where the guide, Reuben, asked everyone in the group where they were from. The answers varied from Austria, Sweden, UK, to Spain and Argentina. Throughout the next hour, the guide managed to link a member of the French royal family to each of these countries, whether it was where they were born, where they had married, where they had been exiled to, where they died. It not only brought us together as a group and gave us a personal link to Versailles but it really impressed us that his knowledge was so deep!
Another guide in Morocco, Saïd likes to involve everyone in his group by asking them where they are from and then saying a funny, colloquial expression in that language. It makes everyone laugh and also makes you question what he said in the other languages.
#7 Speak from the heart
Yan, one of our guides from Bali, told us all about how he acts and speaks from the heart when giving tours. His belief is in karma and how it is very important to treat others how you wish to be treated yourself and in doing this, you will achieve great things and great things will come back to you. “For example, if you want a 5* review, you should give 5* service”. He explained how it starts with small things like taking pride in his personal appearance to sharing his immense pride in his country’s history and culture. He also goes above and beyond and buys extra bottles of water for his customers because he knows they aren’t necessarily used to the heat of Bali. He also buys them local fruits so they get to try something new. How lucky are our Bali customers who get to tour with him?
#8 Capture the unexpected
Go the extra mile! The surprise elements of any tour are always the most memorable ones, so do something that customers don’t expect.
Zuzana gave us the example of a guide John in Berlin who, to explain to his group about how Berlin was split into East and West, took some chalk out of his pocket and started drawing on the ground. He made a very complex subject very clear and visual and it will stick with her for a long time.
Claudia highlighted how the senses are so important and help us form memories. For example, include tastes and smells on a tour and the customers won’t forget it in a hurry. Buying some local snacks to share with the group or take them to your favourite bakery to enjoy the smells and tastes.
#9 Give more than expected / local tips
Ana, an Originals guide in Grenada, told us about how she signs off her tours of the Alhambra. Firstly, she remembers what she learnt from the customers are the start of the tour and recommends that they do another Originals tour in the next city they are visiting. She even mentions guides on those other tours by name! She reminds them about the benefits of Originals tours, for example, the guaranteed small group sizes that allow you to ask more questions. Ana always takes time at the end of the tour to explain what to do next, and further recommendations for 1, 2 or 3 more days in the city. She tells them about places not to be missed, but also gives personal recommendations from her own experiences so that the customer can enjoy her city like a local, not a tourist.
#10 Make a memorable sign off
You’ve just done a great job and the world should know about it! Ana told us a bit about how she keeps her review rate high. She likes to create a bond so strong with the customer that they won’t forget her, that they will want to go back to their hotel and write about her. Ana uses a fun technique to make sure her customers remember her name, “I hope you have enjoyed the tour today. Enjoy the rest of your day and please feel free to write a review about it later. If you had a good time, make sure you say you came with Ana, otherwise, please don’t remember my name”!
Zuzana also told us about another guide who got his customers on his side by saying “My mum reads my reviews and she really enjoys seeing my name”. Why not give it a go?!
So, tell us. Have you got some other advice to share? Have you tried one of one of tips and how did it go if so? We are always very happy to hear from you and share our learnings and advice amongst the guide community.
Your Originals Team