Standard Operating Procedures: Just Automate It

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Standard working procedures. “SOPs” for brief. Not a horny subject, however an vital one for journey tour operators, particularly in relation to discovering methods to automate them.

SOPs are vital for sustaining consistency, security, and high quality in journey tourism operations. While the title does say “standard,” SOPs might range relying on the precise actions you supply, the place you’re positioned, and your organization’s insurance policies.

So, we’re going to place the “standard” in Standard Operating Procedures by giving a normal overview of what they’re and methods to automate them to your journey tour guiding enterprise.

What Are Adventure Tour Guide Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)?

Okay, so perhaps you’ve by no means even heard of Standard Operator Procedures. That’s okay. That’s why we’re right here.

Adventure tour information Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are detailed pointers and protocols that Owners/Operators observe to ensure they’re offering a protected and pleasing journey for his or her guides and their purchasers. 

In different phrases, the Boss creates a listing of issues to do and methods to do them. This manner everybody’s on the identical web page and work is extra environment friendly.

Below are some widespread belongings you would possibly discover in journey information SOPs:

1. Pre-Tour Preparations

2. Emergency Procedures

3. Activity-Specific Guidelines

4. Group Management

5. Environmental and Cultural Preservation

6. Communication

7. Navigation and Orientation

8. First Aid and Medical Assistance

9. Weather Monitoring

10. Post-Tour Procedures

Why Should You Automate Your Standard Operating Procedures?

Like April in Parks and Rec as soon as stated, “Come on, time is money, money is power, power is pizza, pizza is knowledge, let’s go.”

Save Time and Money

You ought to automate your SOPs to avoid wasting your self time. By saving your self time, you’re prone to save your self cash too.

There’s probably a paper doc floating round (or stacked someplace) within the workplace along with your Standard Operating Procedures. With printed paperwork, they’re more durable to distribute, revise, and observe. Locating these bodily paperwork and updating them commonly takes a whole lot of useful time—time you need to use to develop your journey firm as an alternative.

Keep Processes and Procedures Secure

By automating your SOPs, it’s also possible to add a layer of safety to them, particularly when the file will get digitized and saved on a safe platform. This protects personal firm info and retains it safely saved in a location (solely) you possibly can simply entry.

Now that we’ve coated what Standard Operating Procedures are and why it’s vital to automate them, let’s go over how one can really automate completely different processes and procedures to make your life as an Adventure Tour Operator simpler. 

How To Automate Pre-Tour Preparations

Lots goes into making ready for a tour earlier than the tour even begins. You’re reserving your purchasers with their most well-liked date and time. Doing security checks on gear and kit. Making positive you may have all of your permits and permissions readily available. Briefing your purchasers in regards to the tour, security procedures, and expectations. You’re additionally ensuring they’re match sufficient to satisfy the bodily necessities of the tour.

Here are a number of methods you possibly can automate pre-tour preparations to get your purchasers adventuring sooner:

1. Get Online Booking Software

Find and implement on-line reserving software program (like Origin) so your purchasers can reserve excursions, present important info, signal waivers, and make funds electronically.

An automated reserving system updates tour and information availability in actual time, reduces the chance of overbooking, and eliminates the necessity for guide reservations.

2. Automated Confirmation Emails and Reminders

Set up an e-mail advertising and marketing platform to ship out tour confirmations and reminders to individuals (Origin robotically sends these in your behalf). These emails can embrace important particulars resembling assembly factors, required gear, and security pointers.

Automated reminders can assist forestall no-shows and assist individuals get ready for the tour.

3. Digital Pre-Tour Information Packets

Create digital info handbooks for purchasers. Make them obtainable on-line or ship them through e-mail and embrace detailed details about the tour, what to anticipate, security pointers, packing lists, and different related particulars.

Including images, movies, and interactive parts may also make these extra entertaining and memorable to your purchasers too.

Origin’s Trip Agenda

Using Origin, you and your staff can create journey agendas with pre-tour info that features emergency contact info all particulars your guides must know. It’s simple so as to add and a fast obtain offers them the whole lot they want.

4. Online Health and Fitness Assessments

Use on-line well being and health evaluation kinds (Origin permits you to add inquiries to the checkout course of for this precise state of affairs) to your purchasers to fill out earlier than becoming a member of a bodily demanding journey tour.

This can assist determine potential well being dangers and guarantee your purchasers can take part safely on the tour.

5. Automated Equipment Checklists

Create automated checklists to your tour guides to confirm that every one mandatory gear and kit are in correct working situation earlier than the tour.

This ensures that nothing is missed and reduces the chance of accidents because of defective gear. Even a easy Google Sheet will assist automate this step.

6. GPS Tracking and Route Planning

Use GPS monitoring and route planning software program to automate navigation and assist tour guides observe pre-determined routes. GPS expertise will also be used to observe the situation of individuals through the tour for added security.

7. Automated Weather Updates

Integrate climate APIs into your system to obtain automated climate updates for the tour location. This helps tour guides make knowledgeable selections about whether or not to proceed with the tour or make changes based mostly on climate situations.

9. Document Management Systems

Use a doc administration system, like Google Drive, to retailer and manage vital paperwork, permits, and waivers securely. This offers you fast entry to mandatory paperwork throughout Pre-Tour Preparations.

How To Automate Emergency Procedures

For journey guides, having a set of emergency procedures is crucial based mostly on the character of the actions you lead. You need to have step-by-step emergency protocols for various situations (e.g., accidents, adversarial climate situations, misplaced individuals).

You must have designated roles and tasks for tour guides and different employees throughout emergencies. Also, there are communication procedures for contacting emergency companies and authorities you need to have.

Automation can streamline emergency communication, facilitate fast help, and improve security measures. Here are some methods you possibly can automate your emergency procedures:

1. Emergency Communication System

Implement an automatic emergency communication system that features two-way radios, walkie-talkies, or push-to-talk cellular apps. Ensure that every one tour guides and related employees members have entry to this technique for fast communication throughout emergencies.

Some corporations that present emergency communications are SPOT X, Garmin inReach, and EVERYWHERE

2. Emergency Contact Information Database

Create a centralized database containing emergency contact info of all individuals, tour guides, help employees, native authorities, medical services, and related stakeholders. Automate the method of updating and sustaining this database commonly.

Using a Customer Relationship Management platform like HubSpot, SalesForce, or Monday.

3. Pre-Loaded Emergency Response Protocols

Provide tour guides with pre-loaded emergency response protocols on their cellular units or in simply accessible folders, like Google Drive that we talked about above.

These protocols ought to define step-by-step directions for various kinds of emergencies and with one thing like Google Drive, they will also be accessed by an app.

4. Automated First Aid Assistance

While your guides needs to be First Aid/CPR/AED licensed, you possibly can assist them additional with first support apps or digital how-to’s that present instantaneous steering on administering first support for widespread accidents and emergencies.

5. Emergency Evacuation Plans and Routes

Automate the method of offering tour guides with entry to emergency evacuation plans and routes in digital format. Upload it to Google Drive and provides them entry to the folder. This ensures fast and environment friendly evacuation throughout emergencies.

6. Automated Incident Reporting

Implement an automatic incident reporting system that enables your tour guides to submit detailed incident stories promptly. This knowledge could be useful for post-incident evaluation and enchancment of security protocols.

Likely, your legal responsibility insurance coverage firm has a course of. Ask them how one can automate incident reporting to make it quick and seamless for you as an Operator.

While automation can considerably improve emergency procedures, it’s essential for tour guides to endure thorough coaching in emergencies and perceive the restrictions of automated techniques. Human judgment and fast pondering are nonetheless invaluable throughout vital conditions. 

Regularly assessment and replace automated emergency procedures to remain up-to-date with finest practices and business requirements.

How To Automate Activity-Specific Guidelines

Providing detailed directions on methods to conduct particular journey actions, resembling mountain climbing, rafting, mountain climbing, and zip-lining, and demonstrating correct utilization of kit and security gear is one in every of your many duties as an Operator.

By utilizing expertise and digital instruments, you possibly can streamline the method of offering particular pointers to your purchasers for every exercise your tour firm provides. Here’s how you are able to do it:

1. Create Digital Activity Guides

Develop complete digital guides for every exercise you supply and supply these through e-mail to your purchasers. Include step-by-step directions, security pointers, gear utilization, and another related info. 

These guides could be in PDF or internet format and needs to be simply accessible to each tour guides and individuals. Sure, you’ll in all probability nonetheless must go over the logistics along with your purchasers in particular person, however this helps carry them up to the mark, which ought to prevent time firstly of the tour.

2. Automated Email Communication

Use an e-mail advertising and marketing system that sends activity-specific pointers and preparation tricks to your purchasers earlier than the tour. If you’re utilizing Origin, you possibly can add a hyperlink to the automated reminder emails which can be despatched earlier than the journey. This will assist inform and put together them for the exercise earlier than the journey.

3. Automated Safety Checklists

Develop automated security checklists for tour guides to observe earlier than and through every exercise. These checklists could be accessed by Google Drive.

4. Participant Feedback Collection

Use automated surveys or suggestions kinds after every exercise to assemble suggestions from individuals about their expertise and solutions for enchancment. If you’re utilizing Origin, we acquire opinions robotically for you. 

How To Automate Group Management

As a lot as we’d wish to automate managing folks, you possibly can solely go to this point. But there are methods to pre-manage teams of individuals. You can, for instance, set a most client-to-guide ratio to make sure correct supervision and security (psst…you can do that in Origin). 

You may also develop methods for managing teams with various talent ranges and expertise.

1. Set Client-To-Guide Ratios

Hopefully, you’re utilizing reserving software program that may do that for you. If not, might we recommend checking us out as a result of we are able to do that for you? Within Origin, all you need to do is sort in what number of purchasers per information you need and our system will robotically hold that up to date and apply it to all journeys.

2. Set Skill Levels And Experience Strategies

It’s difficult to take a gaggle of purchasers with various ranges of expertise and abilities, particularly once you don’t have a method in place to handle all of them.

Using one thing like Origin can hold your purchasers with the identical abilities and expertise collectively whereas additionally grouping them with a appropriate information.

How To Automate Environmental and Cultural Preservation

As an organization that adventures in nature, it’s vital to apply the Leave No Trace Principles and educate your purchasers on them too. This helps protect the atmosphere for future generations.

1. Teach Your Clients About Environmental Responsibility 

Educate your purchasers in regards to the significance of minimizing the influence on the atmosphere and native communities. Again, you possibly can create a presentation or doc that you would be able to hyperlink to inside your emails to your purchasers. The extra interactive the extra memorable it’ll be.

2. Stay Up-To-Date On The Latest Research

Leave No Trace provides on-line programs about LNT Principles you need to use to remain up-to-date. They even have a plethora of sources to tell you of environmental duty. There’s no automated approach to be taught but, so this should be performed the outdated trend manner.

How To Automate Communication

Communication will all the time be the utmost precedence for an journey tour information, particularly with how harmful it may be. Having established communication protocols between tour guides, purchasers, and help employees could make a giant distinction between enjoyable, security, and effectivity.

Automating communication not solely improves response instances however you’ll even have higher coordination and faster entry to info, and your purchasers will probably be happier. It additionally lets your guides deal with delivering distinctive experiences throughout excursions as an alternative of getting to determine methods to get in contact along with your workplace.

Here are just a few methods to automate communication amongst you, your guides, your employees, and your purchasers.

1. Automated Itinerary & Post-Trip Sharing

Automate the method of sharing tour itineraries along with your purchasers, guides, and employees through e-mail, app notifications, or textual content messages. With Origin, admins can generate tour itineraries in a few clicks and share that amongst your employees.

Origin additionally robotically sends out post-guide journey report requests to your guides to finish to your firm. This consists of the fundamentals like date, journey, buyer data, and so forth. and it’s also possible to add customized questions that will help you perceive how the journey went. 

2. Group Messaging and Notifications

Use group messaging apps to speak vital updates, itinerary modifications, and security reminders to your guides and employees through the tour. You can use one thing like Slack to maintain dialog subjects organized. 

3. Online Booking and Scheduling

Using on-line reserving and scheduling software program will aid you streamline communications between you, your guides, your employees, and your purchasers. Depending on the platform you employ, you possibly can automate numerous issues that’ll aid you streamline your communication. With Origin, you possibly can automate reservation confirmations, journey reminders, digital waiver collections, information assignments, and fee assortment.

How To Automate Navigation and Orientation

At the very least, your guides ought to know methods to navigate the terrain by compass and map. If you’re a information or an aspiring one, be sure you’ve taken a course on it and might confidently and safely get from Point A to Point B.

There’s additionally no approach to automate studying terrain, navigation, and orientation. You can watch as many movies as you need, however it’s good to navigate the ol’ trend manner: going on the market and discovering your manner. At the identical time, there are methods to automate it, like utilizing GPS units, for instance.

1. GPS/Mapping Apps

Just as a result of you possibly can learn and observe a paper map doesn’t imply you have to. There are numerous superb GPS apps on the market you need to use to automate navigation.

Gaia GPS

With over 300 maps, you’ll have detailed path guides to get you from A to B. You can measure point-to-point distances and map out off-trail adventures. You may even generate elevation profiles and calculate the size of your route.

CalTopo

Another nice GPS/mapping app is CalTopo. Measure slope angles and snow depth. See present and altering situations to your deliberate journey earlier than going. See real-time knowledge for 7,500+ streams and reservoirs in addition to wind and climate.

How To Automate Post-Tour Procedures

You’re not performed when the tour wraps up. You nonetheless have post-tour procedures to finish like gathering suggestions and addressing any considerations from visitors. You additionally need to doc incidents, suggestions, and any mandatory enhancements for future excursions.

Here are some steps to automate post-tour procedures:

1. Customer Feedback and Reviews

If you’re not utilizing Origin to robotically acquire suggestions and opinions, you’ll must arrange an automatic e-mail system to ship post-tour suggestions kinds to your purchasers.

You can use platforms like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms to gather their responses.

Additionally, encourage your purchasers to depart opinions on platforms like Google and share the hyperlinks in your automated e-mail. Positive opinions can assist appeal to new purchasers. Also, be sure that for those who get a detrimental assessment, you reply instantly. 

2. Post-Tour Thank You Email

Send automated thanks emails to purchasers after the tour. Express your gratitude for selecting your tour and request them to share their expertise on social media or with mates.

You may even embrace your assessment request on the finish of your “Thank you” e-mail. This manner, you’re not overwhelming your purchasers with too many emails and your request comes after thanking them for selecting your small business to take them on an journey.

3. Automated Follow-Up Promotions

Use your purchasers’ emails and get in touch with info from the reserving system to arrange automated e-mail advertising and marketing campaigns.

Email promotions (e.g. vacation gross sales), reductions (e.g. birthday reductions), or upcoming tour bulletins (e.g. new tour choices) to earlier purchasers to encourage repeat bookings and keep prime of thoughts for his or her subsequent journey.

4. Digital Photo Sharing

If you are taking images through the tour, automate the method of sharing these images along with your purchasers on-line. Not solely is that this one approach to make further revenue, nevertheless it’ll additionally add worth to their expertise and bear in mind their journey with you.

Conclusion

Having normal working procedures are essential for guaranteeing the protection, high quality, and success of journey tourism operations. 

By adhering to those pointers, journey tour guides can present memorable and pleasing experiences for his or her purchasers whereas minimizing dangers and sustaining environmental and cultural sustainability. 

Regular assessment and updates to SOPs based mostly on expertise and business finest practices are additionally important to repeatedly enhance your journey tourism companies. And by automating a whole lot of the points of your SOPs, not solely will you keep on prime of the whole lot, you’ll have the ability to with out added guide labor.

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