Insights on Travel from Costa Rica Expeditions’ Founder Michael Kaye and his Expert Friends.

Vacation Time Is Precious: Feedback on Asking for Feedback.

I interrupt Patty Chang Anker’s account of her trip to Costa Rica to ask you for some feedback about the email that we send to guests at the end of their trip.

At the very end of this post there is a personal comment and a neat video clip.

We revisited this email recently to add the request that those of you who traveled with us and believe that you received the best service you’ve every experienced from a tour operator vote for Costa Rica Expeditions in Travel and Leisure’s Best in the World Survey.

When we looked at other aspects of the email a few suggestions for changes came up. It would be a big help if you would let me know what you think of them.

We cannot decide on which is the best subject line.

1.  How was Your Vacation?

2.  Feedback on Your Vacation

Which do you prefer and why?

We are not sure whether the body of the emails should have headings.  The only difference in the two versions below is that the first has headings and the second does not.  Please let me know which you prefer and why?

Version #1

Dear [Guests Name],

On behalf of everyone at Costa Rica Expeditions, we want to thank you for traveling to our country and choosing us as your tour/vacation planner and operator.

Did we meet our goal of giving you a trip to Costa Rica with Legendary Service that gave you Unforgettable Memories?  There’s a feedback page after our signature, but more about that in a moment…

YOUR PICTURES

Do you have any pictures of your trip in Costa Rica that you would like to share?  We’d love to publish some of your pictures on our web site and/or our Facebook page.

GIVING YOUR FRIENDS PRIORITY VIP TREATMENT

If we have earned your recommendation, when you tell friends, relatives, or colleagues about us, be sure to tell them to mention your name on their Wish List at www.CostaRicaExpeditions.com .  That way, we’ll give them the same priority VIP treatment that we give to returning guests!  We’ll take great pride in assisting them with their trip of a lifetime.

BRIEF FEEDBACK AFTER SIGNATURE

On the feedback page below, after our signature, please answer whichever questions you have thoughts about.  Your thoughtful feedback is key to inspiring our people, our constant improvement, and adding testimonial quotes on our site so new prospective guests will know if we are for them.

So, please give us your thoughts by clicking REPLY, and simply typing your comment right into the questionnaire that’s after our signature, and then click SEND.

NEW PROJECTS

If you are interested in learning about the thinking that has formed Costa Rica Expeditions and the new projects we have on the drawing board, you should subscribe to my blog at www.vacationtimeisprecious.com.

VOTING IF YOU THINK WE’RE THE BEST

Finally, If you are actually received legendary service and unforgettable memories, the best you’ve ever experienced from a tour operator, please vote for us in the Travel and Leisure Magazine “World’s Best Awards,”  in the “Tour Operators/Safari Outfitters,” Category.

Costa Rica Expeditions is one of only two single country destination based tour operators to be nominated for these prestigious awards.

If you feel we deserve it and want to vote for us, go the link below.  You will be asked to fill out a short survey about yourself before you vote.  To vote visit http://tlworldsbest.roiresearch.com/.   You do not have to be a Travel and Leisure Subscriber to vote.

The whole process takes under five minutes and—“you’ll be entered into our [Travel and Leisure’s] 
sweepstakes to win a $10,000 dream trip to the destination of your choice!”

FEEDBACK IF WE’RE NOT THE BEST

Finally if you do not think that Costa Rica Expeditions is the best tour operator you have ever traveled with, please email me at mskaye@expeditions.co.cr and tell me how we can improve.  The success we have had so far is in large part due to taking constructive criticism seriously.

As always, thank you for your support.  It is people like you that make it all worth it.

Heartfelt thanks,

Michael

PLEASE GIVE US FEEDBACK (Thanks in advance!)

As you think about how we planned and fulfilled your Costa Rica vacation…

What happened that fascinated, delighted, inspired, amazed or enlightened — something that might become a lifetime memory?

What surprised you by going beyond the hopes you had, based on our site or what you read and heard before hand?

…and what fell short of your expectations?

Did the trip change your feelings about those you traveled with?

What issue beforehand almost decided you to not travel with us?

What were the few most important things that decided you to go with us?

What Costa Rica Expeditions people exceeded or fell short of your expectations, and in what ways?

What would you say to a friend if you wanted to persuade them to choose us when they come to Costa Rica?  (Please type it as if you were talking to them.)

Thanks again for your feedback!

Version #2

Dear [Guests Name],

On behalf of everyone at Costa Rica Expeditions, we want to thank you for traveling to our country and choosing us as your tour/vacation planner and operator.

Did we meet our goal of giving you a trip to Costa Rica with Legendary Service that gave you Unforgettable Memories?  There’s a feedback page after our signature, but more about that in a moment…

Do you have any pictures of your trip in Costa Rica that you would like to share?  We’d love to publish some of your pictures on our web site and/or our Facebook page.

If we have earned your recommendation, when you tell friends, relatives, or colleagues about us, be sure to tell them to mention your name on their Wish List at www.CostaRicaExpeditions.com .  That way, we’ll give them the same priority VIP treatment that we give to returning guests!  We’ll take great pride in assisting them with their trip of a lifetime.

On the feedback page below, after our signature, please answer whichever questions you have thoughts about.  Your thoughtful feedback is key to inspiring our people, our constant improvement, and adding testimonial quotes on our site so new prospective guests will know if we are for them.

So, please give us your thoughts by clicking REPLY, and simply typing your comment right into the questionnaire that’s after our signature, and then click SEND.

If you are interested in learning about the thinking that has formed Costa Rica Expeditions and the new projects we have on the drawing board, you should subscribe to my blog at www.vacationtimeisprecious.com.

If you actually received legendary service and unforgettable memories, the best you’ve ever experienced from a tour operator, please vote for us in the Travel and Leisure Magazine “World’s Best Awards,”  in the “Tour Operators/Safari Outfitters,” Category.

Costa Rica Expeditions is one of only two single country destination based tour operators to be nominated for these prestigious awards.

If you feel we deserve it and want to vote for us, go the link below.  You will be asked to fill out a short survey about yourself before you vote.  To vote visit http://tlworldsbest.roiresearch.com/.   You do not have to be a Travel and Leisure Subscriber to vote.

The whole process takes under five minutes and—“you’ll be entered into our [Travel and Leisure’s] 
sweepstakes to win a $10,000 dream trip to the destination of your choice!”

Finally if you do not think that Costa Rica Expeditions is the best tour operator you have ever traveled with, please email me at mskaye@expeditions.co.cr and tell me how we can improve.  The success we have had so far is in large part due to taking constructive criticism seriously.

As always, thank you for your support.  It is people like you that make it all worth it.

Heartfelt thanks,

Michael

PLEASE GIVE US FEEDBACK (Thanks in advance!)

[Same as version #1]

Changing the subject many people remark enviously on what an exciting life I must lead. This post which reflects how I really spend a lot of me time has hopefully disabused you of that illusion.

On the other hand, the video clip below of Richard Bangs and me  paddling the Class IV rapids of the Pacuare a centimeter under the high water cut-off will show you that I am not stuck in the office all the time.

P.S.  This fall look for Adventures With Purpose:  Costa Rica:  The Quest for Pura Vida.  Coming to a television near you.

P.P.S.  Stay tuned for Patty on Thursday

Share with Delicious Share with Digg Share with Facebook Share with LinkedIn Share with MySpace Share with reddit Share with StumbleUpon Share with Twitter

Leave a comment


(Required)
(Required. Will not be published)
(Not required)

5 Comments and 1 Replies

  • At April 05, 2012
    2:27:06 am
    REsh said:

    Hi there,

    This are really good! If we are sending such an email directly to client or to Agent.. what would you put on your Subject <>>> Or how would one put it?

    • At January 20, 2011
      6:54:07 pm
      Meena said:

      Dear Michael I think that “how was your vacation ” sounds more of a facilitator for feedback .
      I would definitely recommend CE to any of my friends going to Cr , but agree that it is better not to mention any offers of extra special treatment . Anyway , the “regular treatment “by CE is excellent , in itself !
      I cant describe my relief , when , after a long flight delay , I arrived in CR at midnight and was met by the friendliest staff from CE .
      I am sure CE plans to keep improving its services , adding more adventure with each trip .
      regards , Meena

      • At January 20, 2011
        12:10:57 pm
        Nancy Lee said:

        I just responded to this email asking for feedback about my vacation! Given the proposed changes, I definitely prefer Version 1 with the headings. The email covers several topics and the headings make the message easier to read. It identifies the topics so that at a glance, the reader gets the gist of the entire email. Also it adds some white space, which also makes the message easier to read. Regarding the subject line, I’m rather indifferent, but think the difference is a matter of tone. “How was your vacation?” sounds more casual, while, “Feedback on your Vacation” is more formal and leaning towards a subject line I’d expect in a business email.

        • At January 19, 2011
          2:57:14 pm
          Ruth Marie Lyons said:

          Hi Michael,
          I agree overall with Cheryl’s post so won’t repeat all of that here.

          We are getting ready for our 4th trip with CRE, Charlie & Nino – can hardly wait for Jan. 31 to arrive. I’m wondering how in the world it can be better than the other three we’ve done?! Hopefully CRE will “blow us out of the water” one more time!

          Wish there was going to be an opportunity to see you and Yolanda again. Still have fond memories of Charlie’s 50th birthday party in 2005!

          Ruth Marie Lyons

          • At January 19, 2011
            6:45:43 am
            Cheryl Shnider said:

            Hi Michael
            I think its great that you solicit feedback and invite constructive criticism from your customers. Hopefully its timed so that it arrives shortly after their return so that things are fresh in their mind and they are still “high” from their vacation.
            Regarding the subject line: Assuming that the email has Costa Rica Expeditions clearly identified as the sender, I definitely prefer “How was your vacation?” I think its more friendly. Its as if you, Michael, are personally talking to the recipient. Since you signed it with your first name only and the tone of the text is fairly conversational, I think thats more in line with what you’re aiming for. My experience with CRE was one of friendly, personalized service and staff rather than a “business” where I was just a customer so I think thats what you want to convey in your communications?
            Regarding the subject of headings, I vote for not including them. That way it reads like a personal letter from you and is more consistent with the informal tone and the personal signature. However, I would recommend grouping all the sentences under each of the heading topics into a single paragraph. That would shorten the appearance of the (lengthy) letter and encourage people to read all the way through it.
            You didn’t ask for feedback regarding content but I’ll give it to you anyway. The section on Priority VIP treatment implies that customers get different levels of service. That bothers me. If you just took out the sentence “That way, we’ll give them the same priority VIP treatment that we give to returning guests!” and didn’t use the heading “GIVING YOUR FRIENDS PRIORITY VIP TREATMENT” it would remove that implication. Are first time customers without a referral name really treated as second class citizens? What constitutes priority VIP treatment? If the service I’ll get on my second trip with Costa Rica Expeditions is better than the first, I can’t wait!!!!!
            Congrats on the nomination for T&L’s World’s Best Awards and for surviving the Pacuare. I love the wall of water at the end of the video. Pura Vida!
            Cheryl

            • At January 23, 2011
              10:26:44 am
              Michael Kaye replied
              to Cheryl Shnider:

              Cheryl, Your suggestion about priority VIP treatment, characteristically brings up a very important point.

              Do we treat all guests the same? The short answer is we don’t because we can’t and we shouldn’t. The long answer is much too long for a reply to your comment, but thanks to you bringing it up, I’ll address the question in a post in near future. Thanks.