By Mark Hirst of Lapin Koskikoulu
The principle of Smile & the big 3
- Panicking creates added stress for all concerned parties, customers and guides, in a potentially stressful environment.
- A panicking customer is not likely to return or become an advocate for your trips.
- In the dawn of TripAdvisor and social media bad reviews are not good for business.
Chris had managed to convince us that it is physically impossible to panic if you are smiling. Until this day I don’t know if it is true but smiling definitely works for me when it’s all going wrong around me. The principle of smile was born!
We saw results instantly when we encouraged our customers to smile. As we dropped into big rapids you could clearly see that the customers who had listened to the safety talk in detail were actively smiling and enjoying the OBE experience (Out of Boat Experience).
- HOLD YOUR PADDLE
- FEET UP & GET BACK TO THE RAFT/ SIDE OF THE RIVER/ EDDY
We then started to see that as a team of guides we were pre-briefing the customers before the rapids where we knew that swimming was likely to occur. We found ourselves religiously reminding our customers to smile and do what we told them to do.
I fondly remember loosing a guest out of my raft at the top of a big rapid and taking a long swim. I made a mental note that I would need to do some confidence rebuilding on her return to my boat.
- Try telling your customers to smile and when they take a swim watch the results yourself.
A smile creates a smile
- Focus on telling your customers on the “what to do” instead of the “what not to do”.
- Be proactive if you are at the top of a rapid that historically produces swimmers – quickly remind your customers at the top of the rapid what you want them to do and what to do if they take a swim.
#AreYouReady #RaftersAreAwesome #guide #raft #rafting #raftguide #whitewater #StrongerTogether #internationalrafting #RiverFamily #WeAreIRF