So how does a small outdoor company get over 500 positive TripAdvisor reviews?
Answer: Allow your instructor to create EPIC experiences for your customers.
Being a safe instructor, who has good knowledge of the activity is essential but it will only get you so far.
The key is to realise that your job as an outdoor instructor is to create an EPIC experience for your customers. Not just teach them how to paddle in straight line and be safe.
What is an EPIC experience and how do you create them?
1. Exceed expectations
Find out what your clients expectations are. Manage them. Then do your upmost to exceed them. This process needs to be managed right from point of sale to point of delivery and EVERYONE needs to understand that they are in control of an aspect of these expectations.
- At a micro level, instructors don’t promise paddling to X or jumping off Y until they know for sure it can happen
- At a macro level, the marketing team and operational team need to sit in the same room and talk everyday
2. Learn your clients names
This is probably the single biggest thing you can do as an instructor. It makes your session easier to manage and safer aswell. Nothing says you care more than learning someone’s name. Our tops tips are:
- Learn 2 names at time
- Make a game of it
- Repeat in your head several times
- Ask their friends if you forget
3. Put on a performance
The biggest mindset shift is realising is that you’re not just ‘in the outdoor industry’, you are also in the entertainment industry. Your clients are paying for you to entertain them. Yes, they may need your local knowledge, kit and technical expertise but they desire to be entertained. Every person does this in their own way but here are a few tips:
- Your client’s experience starts from when they land on your website to when they leave your actual activity location
- The SECOND they see you, is when the experience starts. If they see you looking sloppy and miserable on your lunch break - game over
- Add your own flair to a session - welcome briefs, personal kit
- Always be trying new things, otherwise things fade
- Create themes for each sessions - Kids love themes
4. Give a shit
Contrary to popular belief, you CAN teach this over time but you’re but better off employing people who really care about what they do from the start. You must care about your clients, their experience, the environment you’re in, the company you’re in and the kit you are using. Always, always give a shit.
5. Peripheral Vision
Be highly aware of what’s going on around you. Who is talking to who, what kids are saying to each other, who is feeling scared, who is too cold etc