Many businesses can collectively contribute to a visitor’s overall experience, so we need to look at how a visitor feels about the overall experience as well as the component parts within it.
Collaborating to innovate
The benefits of a collaborative approach to gathering feedback for an area are:
- it can help develop a consistent quality experience
- it can give a clear statistical picture of how the whole area is doing and also set a benchmark for your own business
- it can identify any product gaps in your area
- it enables you to only recommend the businesses and experiences in your area that deliver something exceptional to visitors
- it allows you to watch for changes in specific aspects of your business over time, to set targets, to motivate colleagues and to reward success
- it can underpin joint marketing initiatives
Using social media
Whether we like it or not, our visitors are giving feedback.
But instead of telling just us, they are telling the world using the internet and social media, and most crucially they are telling our existing and future customers. For example, TripAdvisor.co.uk is quoted to receive over 40 million visitors every month.
According to Wikipedia, a 2007 survey of the hotel and restaurant industry in Europe concluded that 80 per cent of UK consumers are now researching online before booking a hotel and that 50 per cent of them have refrained from booking a hotel as a direct result of a negative review on websites.
- Understand how social media can benefit your business and area by trying our ten simple steps to get into social networking (PDF, 126kB)
- Only recommend good visitor experiences to others to build the quality in your area
- Knowledge is power so get all you can about your area and business
- Consider starting up a collaborative feedback system in your area, with a variety of other tourism businesses
- Share the knowledge you gather with others and ask them to do the same
- Your collective knowledge can help you to identify gaps in the market and to improve and innovate new products
- Embrace social media and user generated content sites. Actively encourage visitors to write a review about your business