1- Prepping for the tour
- Research: Make sure that you know your route inside & out and that you have done your own research about all of the places you will stop and discuss with the guests.
- Expect the unexpected: Prepare to think fast and use your initiative when something disturbs your normal route. Always have backups & alternatives and you won’t be caught by surprise (closed roads/ restaurants/ busy streets, heavy rain, etc).
- Local Knowledge: Speak to the locals around the area of the tour, maybe they have interesting stories that can help improve your tour!
2- Powerful introduction to your tour
- Intro: Introduce yourself beyond your name, let them know about yourself, your passions, and your connection to your city!
- Get them prepared: Tell your guests a little bit about what to expect and the length of the tour - if anything seems too long for them, or if they have already seen something you want to show them, work around them. Remember, expect the unexpected!
- Beginning of the tour - Start with a powerful opening for the tour, commence with a strong message to inspire confidence ‘embark on a journey’ and make ‘lifetime memories.’
3- Storytelling & being a powerful speaker
- Storytelling: To make a good story out of a tour, try to make the different aspects and stops interlink. Then guests can relate the stops to each other.
- Know your audience: Depending on their interests, concentrate more on different aspects of the tour - archaeologists, architects, journalists, and doctors may all have different interests
- Visual Language - have them imagine a time and a place set the scene and the mood of the tour.
- Use Stats Well: The right statistics can benefit the tour a lot, but only use very powerful ones and communicate it properly
- DO - Use dialogue when possible, eye contact, beginning, middle & end, incorporate pauses for effect, and describe the setting of the stories
- DON’T - make it too long, or share unnecessary details
4 - On the move
- Stories - If you have a longer story to tell during a stop included in the tour, make sure you do stop so the whole group can hear and understand your stories.
- Be Beside - Don’t walk in front of guests so that they follow behind you. Treat them as friends, walk beside them as you chat and keep a comfortable pace.
- No Backtracking - If the route is in the same area, make sure not to walk up and down the same street, always take alternative streets (more local & quiet ones when possible).
- Stop for Pics - Although the surroundings will be very normal to you, they will be amazing for the guests. Make sure to give them time to stop for a few snaps if they wish.
5 - Managing expenses
Most of the time, expenses on the tour are included in the price, which means you pay upfront and will receive the money when you get your payment.
- Manage expectations - Sometimes, we don’t include the price of tickets or transport as it can be variable. If this is the case, let your guests know as soon as they book a tour with you so they know they are expected to pay. (Preferably mention it in the Withlocals chat, if not at the beginning of the tour).
- If they want more - If the guests want more (tastings, coffee, drinks) that what was budgeted for, be honest! Let them know the first ones are on you and they have to pay for the rest.
- They want the more expensive - If on a foodie tour or a stop, the guests are not happy with the tasting you give them and request something more expensive, please be honest and upfront. Let them know that there is a certain budget for the tour, and if they do want the more expensive thing, maybe they will need to skip another tasting ahead or ask them to pay themselves.
6 - Time management
- Slow guests - If you have slow-moving guests, don’t push them to be faster, plan the route to skip a few things and communicate to the guests about it along the way.
- Always doing overtime - If you find the issue on the tour that you're doing more than the hours agreed, let us know so we can review the situation. (If it is a common complaint, we will adjust the hours of the tour, if not you may need to shorten your stories a little.
- Food tour stops - On a food tour, guests are often sitting down and relaxing while eating. Keep the group moving, they know your on a watch, once they have tasted, you can go!
7 - Customer service
- Upon Booking - When a guest has booked a tour with you, always write to them via the Withlocals chat. Introduce yourself and express your excitement of meeting them. It’s also a chance to see if they have any requests or requirements.
- Before the tour - Send them any tips for getting to the location, you can also let them know the color of your clothes so you're easier to spot.
- Beginning of tour - Friendly and lively intros are essential to bring a positive mood! Go over and above when you can and tackle problems before they occur, this shows great service!
- Finishing up - When the tour is finishing, give them the review cards to kickstart the bookings. Let them know about other awesome tours on the platform. Ask them where they would like to go and offer them great recommendations!
- Post booking - After you have left the guests, next time you go on Withlocals send them another kind message letting them know what a great day it was. Have some of your favorite recommendations of food, drinks & more and send it to them!
8 - Dealing with late guests
- Before the tour - The day before the tour send the guests a message to let them know where you will be and send them travel tips on how to get there!
- Waiting time - If you have waited for 5 minutes, give the guests a call on the mobile number they have provided you to see if they are close by or if they are lost. Keep in mind this can happen since they are in a city completely unknown to them.
- No response? - If you don’t hear from them, give Withlocals HQ a call [+31202440076] and let us know the situation, we’re here to help!
- Waited 30 mins? - We recommend hosts to wait 30 minutes at the meeting point, even if the guests are not responding and be aware of any small groups around, as they might be there waiting for you too! In case the guests don’t show up, you will still receive payment for the tour, according to our cancellation policy & your payment method.
9 - Creating an awesome atmosphere
- Share your passions - As a Withlocals host, guests tend to be just as interested in you as they are about your city. Share your experiences and feelings, allow them to understand how it is to BE a local.
- Be curious - As much as guests love to hear you talk, get to know them a little, ask them questions and listen to what they are saying.
- Be a passions detector - Try to figure out your guests' passions, once you do, ask them about it and if possible, orientate the tour more towards their passions!
10 - Bad weather
- Weather problems - There’s nothing like rain to ruin a good bike tour, or a very hot summer day to make a walking tour challenging! Let your guests know and ask if they are willing to reschedule the tour accordingly. IF NOT: The tour must go on!
- Manage expectations - Let guests know that the weather could be a bit uncertain so they can prepare accordingly and if necessary, make changes to the itinerary.
- Prep the guests - As they say “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing!”. Let your guests know how to prepare and to bring the proper clothing - umbrellas, an extra jacket, sun screen, water, they can make the experience better!
- Adjust to conditions - Think of places that have some shelter where you can explain stops and also a possible coffee/hot chocolate stop for the guests. Offer public transport or taxi options if needed.
- Stay positive - As long as the host is in good spirits and you are keeping enthusiasm levels high, everyone will still have an amazing experience!