Located in Leigh, North of Auckland, Glass Bottom Boat Tours provides fun and educational adventures for guests of all ages. Antony ‘Griff’ Griffin, the Operations Manager/Skipper of Glass Bottom Boat Tours, wears many, many hats in the business. As the only full-time employee, he’s responsible for all functions within Glass Bottom Boat Tours — from admin and behind-the-scenes logistics to being the skipper on board the boat, leading the tours.
Looking for a way to ease up his massive workload, operate more efficiently and reduce the number of calls and emails he was fielding at all hours of the night, Griff decided to start using Yonder.
“We saw the need for Yonder because I was up at 10pm most nights trying to answer calls and emails. I was getting tired and somewhat frustrated because I was answering the same questions over and over,” says Griff. “Before using Yonder I had to create template responses in Microsoft Word for all of our FAQs. The fact that Yonder does that for me is brilliant, and having it automated saves me an incredible amount of time and effort, while also helping our customers quickly get the information they need.”
In fact, Yonder chat and automated FAQ’s help Griff save on average 7 hours per month by helping 89% of customers, and up to 16h per month in the height of the busy summer season. With 42% of customers enquiring outside of office hours. Griff’s most common questions are about if they’re operating and the weather. This is with borders shut and a large reduction in tourists. Pre-Covid, the same month a year ago, the amount of time Griff saved was almost double this.
The chat links through to the booking system, tracking conversions and helping customers complete the booking. Griff gets almost half of the chatbot users clicking through to Fareharbor booking pages. It’s not just an FAQ assistant, we design it to help customers learn all they need to guide them to book.
So how exactly does it work? Yonder chatbot has been trained with a catalogue of the most frequently asked questions for a range of tourism businesses and is exceptional at answering routine questions about availability, prices and much more. Giving customers what they need immediately, 24-7, gets you more bookings and saves time for your staff to deal with enquiries that need it.
“The great end-to-end experience customers have with the company is the reason why we get recommendations and great reviews. Yonder is part of the overall experience, for our customers, it’s not just about the boat trip, it’s also about how easy it is to book with us and get answers to their questions. It’s one of the most valuable tools for us. The fact that customers can get answers to their questions without having to email or call or text is game-changing.”
Glass Bottom Boat Tours offer services that are largely weather dependent, so a feature that Griff finds particularly useful is the status message which allows him to quickly let customers know when conditions aren’t good for sailing.
When you’re already short on time and need to implement technology to streamline your businesses processes, it’s imperative that the onboarding process is simple and doesn’t take up too much of your time. Yonder has already built a set of commonly asked questions for tourism, that typically meets over 80% of needs. With just a 2-hour onboarding session with Glass Bottom Boat Tours, Yonder had all the information required to set up the chatbot, and once deployed it quickly got great outcomes because the AI was already trained. Griff has access to a web portal with an easy to use editor to adjust responses on the fly, like pricing, deals and schedule.
After having great success with Yonder chat and automated FAQ’s, Griff decided to start using Yonder surveys to gather more customer feedback and reviews.
Yonder integrates directly with Glass Bottom Boat’s booking system, Fareharbor, enabling them to automatically send every booking a review request, asking those who rate you 5-stars to post on their preferred online review site. Yonder makes it easier still by giving them a copy button to reduce the effort to share. After a quick setup, which can be done yourself, it’s all set to send automatically. “It was incredibly easy to set up and easy to tweak as we went along,” says Griff.
We found that Griff gets 30% of customers providing a review directly, with 12% of those sharing to an online review site. 70% share to Google, 20% to Trip Advisor and 10% to Facebook.
It’s one thing collecting data and feedback from customers but then finding time to trawl through all the different platforms and manage it all can be overwhelming. Yonder makes it easier for you to manage and report on insights by pulling all of your customer feedback data into one home.
Griff loves being able to quickly view and respond to Google reviews through Yonder “We use the reviews section as well which is very very good. I really like it, having all our reviews in one place is awesome.”
Before using Yonder and Fareharbor, Glass Bottom Boat Tours found it hard to collect feedback and reviews from their customers and measure how they were performing.
“Our old systems didn’t meet our needs in this area. We used to use Mailchimp and Survey Monkey before using Yonder but they weren’t very effective at all and I don’t think we got replies to any of the feedback requests we sent through our previous booking system,” explains Griff. “We’ve found that sending direct surveys from Yonder has made a big difference and is a step up. The simplicity of the survey makes it easy for our customers to share their thoughts on their experience.”
By integrating with Fareharbor (and other major booking systems) all booking and customer information is connected to feedback. That allows unparalleled insight into the feedback, it's easy to go back to the exact trip the guest was on and understand what was going on. It also allows a breakdown of ratings and reviews to learn which products are working well, and others need attention. All of this is automated and made possible through an integration with the booking system.
“The feedback and reviews we get from our customers reinforces that we’re doing a great job and are providing a great experience. After the tough year we’ve had, it’s nice to get positive feedback; it keeps us going and reminds us why we do what we do.”
The 45-minute fully commentated “around the island” tour gives visitors a unique perspective into New Zealand’s first marine reserve. Peering through the glass, guests stay dry while viewing a thriving underwater ecosystem, teeming with reefs, fish, and other marine life. Above water, Goat Island is the focal point, as are the many species of birds that live in this coastal habitat.
During the tour, visitors learn about the history, preservation, and continued protection of the Goat Island Marine Reserve. In addition, they can expect to learn about the various types of fish, birds, and marine life viewed during the trip, and as the sea and weather conditions are always changing, so is the wildlife seen during each tour – no trip is ever the same! Occasionally, dolphins, orcas, whales, and sharks make an appearance as they migrate through the reserve.
The 49-seat glass-bottom boat “Aquador” runs multiple trips daily, departing from the beach at Goat Island Marine Reserve. Bookings are essential and can be made in advance online, or day-of on the beach.
This tour is family-friendly and suitable for guests of all ages.
To learn more or to book a tour, head to glassbottomboat.co.nz.