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Insights from online reviews

Hear about the use of TripAdvisor from Mercat Headphones and the Camera Obscura
Feedback was so important for us and there’s a lot of different websites that we monitor, to get feedback. But we can recognise, when there’s trends in that feedback, of an issue that our customer is having. So during the month of August, in Edinburgh, it’s very hard to navigate the streets. So we do walking tours, so it can be a little bit trying at those times. So it’s obviously quite, a very different experience for our customers. So we’ve recently invested in soft, in equipment that allows us to use the headphones, to deliver our tours directly to people with earphones on.
So there’s no more of, people not being able to hear our guides, not you know, missing bits because something loud has happened. And so that’s something that through data, we can see there’s a trend. Each August particularly, July, August, when it starts getting quite busy on the streets of Edinburgh. The old paper survey’s we’re not very effective, the the amount of processing involved, was just very time-consuming. So we we’ve worked we’ve worked really really hard to get feedback, we get tons of feedback. The kind of feedback we get includes, how long are people with us? Where were they from? How do they rate every aspect of the experience?
and cut down customer service, the show, the exhibits, the interpretation of exhibits. Would they recommend us? Now you can get this data, but it’s kind of what you do with it afterwards. So one of the things is, the value for money and we’ve worked out that our value for money, was about 10 percentage points above everybody else who was doing this survey. So that was very useful for the business, because it meant that we knew that we could afford to increase the price well ahead of inflation. Which we did, about three years in a row and this gave us more money to reinvest.
To make the visit even better and making it better, it was based on the data from the survey. When TripAdvisor came along it was about 2009, they got in touch with us and said that we were the top attraction in Edinburgh on TripAdvisor and we said well what what what is TripAdvisor? We actually weren’t aware of what it was. We only had about six reviews at that point. But that was six more than most people and we were number one for the next five years. However, erm, so we worked on that.
We worked on getting more reviews and then we were tracking how many reviews we were getting and what people we’re saying about us, again using the feedback to improve things. But then we actually we did too well. There was the inaugural attractions award and we were number two in the UK, in that list. At that point we had one hundred and seventy thousand visitors. The average place on that list had a 850,000 we were just getting so many reviews and so many good reviews. So the issue with that was we got too busy and our customer service went down. But we were able to track through the survey’s again, what went wrong with our customer service.
It turned out that having groups in at the same time as general visitors, at the height of summer, wasn’t working for the general visitors. So we took what was a hard decision, to say no to the groups during them, during the day.
From 10:00 till 6 no groups and the group said that we won’t come, but actually they did come.
They came at 9:00 or they came at 6:00 when we had space for them. The result was that the the numbers, although we thought we were at peak at 66,000 visitors over those two months, it’s now, well this past year was over 90,000. Gone up, gone up over a third. But the customer experience is good and again it’s all tracked within within without without our service and also also reviews. For Edinburgh at the moment TripAdvisor reviews for tourist attractions are going down and actually they’re going down quite a lot, when the market is rising. But we can also say that our volume of reviews, is going down less than other places.
Because we recognised what was happening through the data and then took steps to address it.

Customer feedback data, such as provided through TripAdvisor, can be used to inform decisions about operational aspects of your business. In this video you will hear from Camera Obscura and Mercat Tours about how they gain insights from customer feedback. While watching the video, focus on what they say about:

  • How reviews can highlight areas for improvement but also how recent improvements are received by customers
  • How they combine TripAdvisor review data with their online feedback surveys
  • How survey data can tell you about your customers’ perception of value for money to inform your pricing strategy
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Understanding Data in the Tourism Industry

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