ZipTrek Ecotours Queenstown is one of New Zealand's most innovative tourism operators, led by the continuously innovative Trent Yeo. The company takes very seriously both the ‘zip’ and the ‘eco’ parts of its name. A regular nominee and winner of industry awards, most recently a winner of the 100% Pure New Zealand Qualmark award, as well as customer voted awards like Trip Advisor Hall of Fame. ZipTrek became Queenstown’s first company to achieve zero-carbon business status through Ekos, a carbon management entity helping organisations to minimise and offset to an international standard. The company and staff also make significant contributions to the community, another keypart of their business ethos.
We wanted to know more about how ZipTrek maintains such an outstanding level of guest experience, so we chatted with Trent and two of his team members, Jess Willow (Guest Services Manager) and Kenny Wynter (Sales Manager).
Jess: More feedback is better! It gives us more of an idea of what’s going on. When we don’t get a lot of feedback, like before Yonder, it’s kind of hard to know how you’re doing and where you’re sitting.
Kenny: Of course it’s good to tally up our feedback to see what we are good at and where we can improve. We encourage all guests to give us feedback in order to spot consumer trends, wants and needs.
Jess: We used to send out surveys through SurveyMonkey but we were only getting a few responses a week. We were getting only a few Google Reviews each month and they were managed by someone else in our team because I didn’t have access to the accounts, which wasn’t ideal because I didn’t have the full overview of what customers were saying across different platforms.
We chose to shift our customer surveys to the Yonder system because we were keen to get a higher volume of feedback and make it easier to manage and use. Also, a major selling point was being nicely integrated with Zaui, our booking system.
Jess: The integration with Zaui means that Yonder surveys are sent automatically after a visit.
What I really like is that the survey responses are all connected with the customer and booking data in Zaui. Particularly for negative feedback, it means we don’t need to make a guess what’s going on and we can quickly double-check the information, like which tour they were on and who was their guide. It helps us confirm if the feedback is accurate.
One example is someone complaining the zipline wasn’t as steep as they expected, but when we checked they didn’t go on our steepest zipline. That information helps us make better judgments on what to do with the feedback. Also the timing — sometimes feedback can be about a tour a day ago, and sometimes it might be about a tour over a month ago. The pathway to take action on negative feedback is so much easier than before.
Jess: We’re now getting at least 20 responses a week, a massive jump up from our previous system. I put that down to the fact it’s now automatically sent out straight away after a tour, and visually it’s way more engaging than our previous survey.
Managing customer feedback wasn’t exactly my favourite task. Since we’ve been using Yonder it’s now a positive experience to deal with customer feedback, I feel good about it. I love being able to see everything all in one dashboard, it’s so much easier to view and manage all the feedback, and it’s so nice seeing so much positive feedback. Our NPS is 75, which we’re really pleased with and still have room to improve.
“Before using Yonder, in Feb and March 2021 we got 6 Google reviews each month. After using Yonder, we got 12 Google reviews in June and 9 Google reviews in July — That’s almost double and 3x more than we were getting per month in the previous year.”
Jess: We like to provide our operations manager with a weekly summary of feedback about the guides, and that gets shared in a regular team meeting. I manually go through all reviews and copy snippets into a spreadsheet. Now, with the Yonder Team Mentions feature, it automatically categorises mentions of all our guides which makes it faster to sort through and find the relevant reviews, super cool!
Kenny: In my opinion, it's pivotal to give feedback to your staff on a regular basis in order to let recognize them for the mahi they have done! In our team we always pass both positive and constructive comments and feedback on to our frontline team.
Jess: Zippy is an AI Chatbot that sits on our website helping customers, and us, 24-7. Our most asked questions are about weight restrictions, the minimum age required and our cancellation policy. Answering those questions immediately frees up our team to give more attention to the customers that need it, and it helps us get more bookings, as it’s helping people with their queries and then guiding them to book.
It came pre-trained to understand most of the common questions we get and we can edit all the responses and add our own questions on top through Yonder. If there’s ever any issue, or if we just a bit of help we need (as I’m not super techy), the customer service from Yonder has been super good and prompt, which makes a massive difference.
Trent: Bots are really good at removing the boring tasks, data finding and data connecting. The AI chatbot enables guests to get answers to a range of questions without us having to answer the phone call or email back and forth.
One of the greatest things about working with a chatbot is that it gives you data on what people are actually doing, how many hours we’ve saved serving people, and allows us to serve people outside of our business hours.
The data it’s bringing in is actually telling us what our customers want to know and when you know what a customer wants to know then you can answer it more directly, more efficiently or more upfront.
Basically, with a small team it helps us deliver better guest experiences across the board, and ultimately more bookings.
ZipTrek Ecotours is NZ's #1 Original Zipline tour company. Our company is well-renowned for its award-winning sustainable efforts and offers a variety of spectacular and fun zipline adventures through the forest canopy high above Queenstown, on Skyline Gondola hill.
ZipTrek is for all ages, confidence levels and abilities. Come and see why everyone says it is Queenstown's 'must-do activity.