As a tour guide, it's important to make each and every one of your guests feel special. Focusing on only your high-maintenance travelers could alienate the rest of your group. Encouraging your more introverted guests to be the life of the party may make them feel uncomfortable. Joan Keddell, Executive Vice President/CFO for International Tour Management Institute and President of SilverLining Cruises & Tours, suggests five important tips to help make all of your tour guests feel valued.
Ask About Their Career
Keddell says guests open up when asked about their careers. When talking shop, however, remember these people are on vacation. "Be sure not to make them feel like they're at work."
Ask About Their Family
Let's face it: Who doesn't like to brag about their kids or grandkids? Talking to your guests about their families could help you create a more personal connection.
Ask About Their Previous Travels
One way to gain additional insight into your tour guests is by inquiring about their favorite or least favorite tours. "Pay close attention to their pet peeves, should they share them with you."
Introduce Them to Other Guests
One of the many hats tour guides and tour directors wear is that of a relationship facilitator. Keddell reminds us not to rush socialization within the group. Also, try not to push people too far outside of their comfort zones.
Ask What Would Have Made Their Experience Better
In addition to end-of-tour reviews and questionnaires, Keddell emphasizes the importance gathering in-person feedback. "Some are more comfortable expressing themselves verbally, rather than on paper."
Click here to read Joan Keddell's article 5 Ways to Make Every Tour Guest Feel Valued.
Written by Lisa Stickler, staff writer Groups Today magazine.
Photo courtesy of Destination DC.