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2018 Year in Review – Guest Satisfaction

Business of Beer Don Littlefield

2018-Guest-Satisfaction

Our guests love to talk about their experiences on our tours. They tell their friends, co-workers, and families. They rate us on public review sites and also tell us their thoughts in a private survey link. Let’s see how our tours performed last year.

Note: This is the fourth post in a series looking back at our tour operations during 2018. Click to read the previous editions:

Delivering an amazing and unforgettable experience for our guests is the primary goal for our entire company. And the responsibility for this is on our tour guides and drivers, but also at many other steps in the process as well.

Getting the correct information to prospective guests about our tours is where it all starts. We will talk about the marketing and outreach efforts in the next post as we look back at 2018.

An easy to navigate website, making the tour selection booking process easy, and then once booked sending all the necessary information (and reminders) before a tour certainly continues the guest experience.

Being on time at our pickup location, with a sincere welcome and thank you for selecting our company helps set the tone.

And all of this is before we have boarded the bus, visited a brewery, or tasted a beer on the tour.

During the tour, we aim to deliver an entertaining – yet informative – tour experience to all of our guests.

Of course, there are many variables that we cannot control. Time of day, locations selected, the volume of business when we do stop by, the experience delivered by our partners, the flavors of the craft alcohol, the heat and cold temperatures, the loud music and the silence…the list that can affect us goes on and on.

But we try to control what we can control. and help our partners in any way that we can.

This includes helping our facility hosts with questions during the visit that help them to tell their own story, stepping in to lead a tour (or run a tasting room) when staffing is tight, or picking up glassware to help them if our visit has disrupted their normal patterns.

Now on to the information we learned from our tour operations last year.

One of the best indicators of our performance year after year is the increase in the number of guests who report they are returning guests when they book our tours.

Last year was the highest number ever, with 263 people booking tours and stating that they were returning guests when they are in the booking process. The tours that they booked contained 678 guests which represent 9% of our total guests for the year.

At the end of each tour, we ask our guests directly to consider rating us on a public review site such as TripAdvisor, Google, Yelp, or Facebook. We give out a reminder card just before they leave the bus.

We also e-mail all of the booking contacts a day after they tour asking for their public and private feedback.

TripAdvisor users submitted 156 reviews last year, with an average rating of 4.9 out of 5.0.

Some of the other platforms are harder to look at one year at a time. There are a total of 34 reviews on Google with an average of 4.7 stars. Facebook users have rated our tours 5 out of 5, and Yelp users have given our tours an average of 5 stars.

In that same post-tour e-mail, we ask for our guests to complete a private survey that we built out several years ago.

It asks questions in a few different phases: pre-tour, during the tour, and after the tour. 238 guests completed this survey over the past year.

The outstanding results from our tours conducted last year are visible in the images in this post.

  • 96.6% of our guests reported the tour was Excellent or Very Good
  • 90.3% thought the tours were a Good Value for the Cost.
  • 97.5% of guests thought the tour was Extremely or Very Organized.
  • 99.6% thought the Driver and Tour Guide were Extremely or Very Knowledgable.
  • 99.6% of guests felt safe during the tour.
  • 98.7% thought they received all the information they needed before the tour.
  • 96.2% of guests felt the tour was exactly the proper amount of time, or perhaps just a little too short.
  • 95.8% will be Extremely or Very Likely to recommend our tours to a friend, work colleague, or family member.

One of the best statistics from this post-tour data is the number of people that report they first heard about our tours through word of mouth: from a friend, family member, or work colleague.

The number of people who learned about us through word of mouth was 26.1% of all survey respondents for 2018. 

So over one-quarter of our business was referred to us based on the great experience from a prior guest who loved the time that they spent with us, and felt that they needed to tell someone else. 

Add that to the number of returning guests that is climbing every year. That represented 9% of all guests last year.

An even better number is how many people are referring others to our tours now as a result of what they experienced last year.

We ended the year with 95.8% of guests stating they are Extremely or Very Likely to recommend our tours to a friend, work colleague, or family member. 

We love seeing this information, and knowing that we are actually delivering on our mission of delivering an amazing and unforgettable experience for our guests

Of course, we don’t rest at all with these very positive results.

We work hard to not only maintain these performance standards but also find ways to introduce new prospective guests to the idea of taking an expertly guided insider tour to learn more about the craft alcohol industry in Maine.

Next up in our series looking back at 2018: our diverse marketing and outreach efforts over the past year.


Don Littlefield is the General Manager of Brew Bus Tours. In a previous career, he worked as an overnight data supervisor for UPS. He enjoyed a Frye’s Leap IPA from Sebago Brewing Company while preparing this post. Twitter @BeerinME