A BRIEF WORD ABOUT REVIEWS
As a well informed traveler, you are no doubt familiar with either or both of these online services. Trip Advisor is basically an open travel forum and Tours By Locals is a on online service that vets guides from all over the world, invites them for listing and then intermediates tour bookings between tour guides and clients. I was invited to list on Tours By Locals in March 2017.
Since I operate as a sole proprietor, all of the reviews posted on both of these platforms relate to one of the 300+ tours I have performed personally since I began doing private tours two years ago. I use the word "perform" for a good reason. I consider every tour engagement a personal performance by me. I spend a great deal of preparatory time researching, reading, scouting, thinking, practicing, improving and embellishing my tour repertoire to ensure that my audience leaves the theater happily entertained, intellectually piqued and eager for more.
I have been in the high end professional services space all my life. As such, I always recognized and appreciated that there can be no better form of promotion and endorsement than the words of a happily satisfied client. Moreover, the wisest counsel for elevating your service to the next level is more often than not, that of your most trusted clients.
Recently, I met a client for an airport layover tour. This client told me that based on a recommendation made by her friend who is one of my recent clients, she got on a flight from Los Angeles to spend a day on tour with me, returning that evening on a flight back. Wow, what an endorsement that was!
I don't do these tours for free. But to be honest, at this stage of my life, the human intangibles of life are far more important to me than the figures. Similarly the thoughtfulness and detail put into my reviews is far more important to me than the number generated.
That is why why I truly appreciate any and all input I receive from all of my clients. And in this regard, I am not simply referring to post tour reviews on Trip Advisor and Tours By Locals. Inasmuch as my service is offered as bespoke, live communication is paramount. I endeavor to manage expectations by gauging who you are, what your interests are and what you specifically would like to do on your tour. But I am not a mind reader and I am happy to alter or adjust plans to better meet your expectations in real time. As far as I am concerned, premium means I am aiming to deliver an experience that will exceed your expectations every time. So please don't be shy. Tell me what you want!
Now, getting to written reviews. I will assume you have read some of my reviews. I am extremely proud of the reviews I receive. In this regard, the following quote regarding audience reaction is right on point.
I appreciate very much than most of you have a very hectic schedule and are busy with your daily lives. Nevertheless, following our tour, I would be grateful if you could take a spare moment to submit a review for my advice and benefit. You may do so on Trip Advisor here or or via Tours By Locals directly through your account.
In addition to providing the seeds for constant improvement as well as sweet memories, your input will also help me by facilitating my visibility online.
As you know, there are all manner of tour operators out there providing bus tours, large group tours, free tours and/or fielding a platoon of tour guides having varying degrees of experience. It is impossible for one person to keep up with them based on sheer review quantity as a metric of performance. That is why I must rely first and foremost on excellence, professionalism and positive client feedback to maintain my profile and visibility.
Thank you for your valued time and patronage and thank you for your thoughtful reviews!