What We Can Learn from Travelling with a Tour Guide

Seth Godin says the best service comes from people who are advocating for the customer in advance, so that bad experiences don't happen.

I reckon this is right on point when we think about tour guides.

There's a high degree of trust in a relationship between a traveller and a tour guide.

If I'm going to get into a car with you, pay you up front, and give over control of my day to you, I have to trust you.

Will I get what I paid for? Will I enjoy this as much as the TripAdvisor comments say I will?

Will your command of my first language be good enough for us to understand each other?

Will I get to my intended destination? What else could happen, and what might go wrong?

My recent experience with international tour guides has been useful.

I've wondered if my prospective clients are asking the same, or similar questions. I suspect, whether consciously or not, they are.

I figure there are a few things we can do to ensure we are getting a good experience. These are some of the things I look for when seeking a tour guide.

Recommendations from other people, on a range of platforms.

A credential or qualification for the job, recognised by a regulating authority.

An upfront, clear agreement about what I'm buying - all the things that are included for the fee.

Clear goals - I know at the end of my trip, within reason, what I will have seen and the places I will have been to.

The tour guide is preparing me in advance - what I need to do, for them to want to work with me. What to bring, how I should dress, any warnings I should heed, and anything that will mean the deal is off.

From everything I've read, heard and seen, it feels like this will be a good tour.

So, here's my invitation to you.

Think about your learning and development for the year ahead. Plan the things you would like to act on. Then, plan your approach as if you are going on a tour with a guide. Use some of the tactics above.

And, if it’s helpful, you can download this handy guide to finding the right coach for you.

Have an insightful fortnight.