Fat Tire Tours customers share the joys of travel — and inspire others to join the journey
Fat Tire Tours, which offers activities and tours in major cities around the world, recognized the potential of customer photos and feedback to engage people and spark interest in its services. But the company needed a scalable way to systematically collect customer feedback and easily share it with others.
As President Jack Louis puts it,
How do we capture feedback from guests who are excited about their experiences on our tours and activities, and how do we amplify it? How do we put their remarks and sentiments right there for everyone to see?
The company found the answers in Bazaarvoice, which makes it possible for Fat Tire Tours to collect ratings and reviews, photos and videos from guests and prominently share them online.
Turning site visitors into travel adventurers
Using Bazaarvoice Ratings & Reviews, Fat Tire Tours has collected thousands of reviews of its tours and activities in Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, and London and shared them online to extremely good effect. Not only do 46% of visitors to fattiretours.com read the reviews, they are undeniably influenced by them — as demonstrated by a 49% lift in conversions among visitors who interact with reviews.
Fat Tire Tours worked closely with Bazaarvoice solutions consultants to develop a ratings and reviews implementation that addressed key business challenges. In particular, the Fat Tire Tours implementation collects and then displays information about reviewers so that other travelers can find the content most relevant to their own experience, such as traveling with kids or as a single adult. The Fat Tire Tours implementation also collects separate ratings for particular aspects of the experience, including guide quality and customer service.
As far as feedback goes, it’s a far cry from the paper surveys Fat Tire Tours once relied on to capture customer experiences, as the company has conquered the challenge of how to share the excitement and enthusiasm of its guests.
Capturing travel memories in photos and videos
From today’s travelers capturing images on mobile devices, all the way back to the analog slideshows of days gone by, travel photos have always given people a unique and powerful way to share the excitement of a visit to a special place. Now the reach of visual imagery is amplified many times over by the ability to share photos through social channels, where the impact can go far beyond small groups of friends and family members.
Travelers’ photos and videos are just as important to Fat Tire Tours as reviews – if not more so, given the timeless emotional appeal of travel memories captured in pictures. With Bazaarvoice Curations, the company displays guests’ photos and videos — and not just those posted on the company’s website, but also images from Instagram, Facebook, and other social channels.
Fat Tire Tours encourages guests to post photos and videos with a Fat Tire Tours hashtag. Then the Bazaarvoice Curations solution sorts the tremendous amount of content posted by guests — organizing it by subject matter, and passing it through a world-class moderation service. Those powerful images are then integrated into the Fat Tire Tours website and printed material.
The curated visual content resonates strongly with website visitors, as tens of thousands view the content each month, and visitors who interact with it are 17% more likely to book a tour or adventure with Fat Tire Tours than those who don’t.
Gathering data to build a better business
In addition to providing website visitors with plenty of information and imagery on which to base decisions about tours and activities, consumer-generated content also helps Fat Tire Tours gain important insights about its services and motivate its staff.
For example, when reviewers commented about long waits at some of the most popular attractions on their tours — the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, for example — the company began offering
Skip the Line advance-ticket tours.
Bazaarvoice has allowed us to be more data-driven, says Louis.
It’s really changed the way we do business, knowing that we have this wealth of knowledge that we can tap into at any moment.
At Fat Tire Tours headquarters in Paris, the company showcases consumer reviews to motivate the staff and remind them of the positive impact their work is having. A
Tour Guide of the Week display, based on customer reviews and photos, recognizes top performers, and prominent posters of review content line the walls.
The staff is rejuvenated when they see reviews, especially those that remind us about how life-changing customers’ experiences can be, says Louis.
In one case, someone who survived cancer fulfilled a dream of visiting Paris and had an amazing time with their family on one of our tours, doing things they never thought they’d have the chance to experience.
Cultivating closer customer relationships
Fat Tire Tours takes customer service very seriously, and Bazaarvoice has helped Fat Tire Tours raise its level of customer service in several ways. Customer service representatives respond directly to reviews to acknowledge guests’ concerns and suggestions and to let them know when action has been taken to address those concerns.
The Bazaarvoice platform also gives the Fat Tire Tours staff insight into all aspects of the customer experience. Reviews often share stories of life-changing travel experiences, and the effect on morale is immeasurable.
Many things are measurable, though, and that’s good news for Fat Tire Tours.
No longer are we working off of hunches, saying ‘well, I think this is the case,’ or ‘I feel things are typically this way, as Louis says.
Bazaarvoice has allowed us to take all of our guests, all of our brand advocates, and just turn them into a real-time focus group delivering valuable insights.
The quality of the software, the usability and scalability of the platform, the professionalism of the team — it’s all been a joy, says Louis.
Bazaarvoice really allows us to grow as a company in all the ways we need to.