Making Mistakes

I work in tourism and it shocks me the power that negative TripAdvisor reviews wield over bookings – how scared companies seem to be of negative reviews and of making a mistake. Yet, I have always believed that without mistakes we cannot learn. We are human and it is human nature to make mistakes.

Without mistakes we cannot learn, strengthen and develop. Making a mistake helps to make us stronger and better in the long run. Making mistakes actually means we are doing something. Accomplishing something. Trying something. We often make mistakes when we are pushing ourselves and outside our comfort zone – I see that as a good thing. That you have been brave enough to go outside your comfort zone and try something.

I know that some of our customers aren’t 100 percent happy with our service or product. But we sell what I call the real Mongolia rather than just a sanitised version and this means we are dealing with real people leading real lives in a country the size of western Europe with a limited infrastructure. Things will go wrong. Plans will have to change. Also, although we truly do care about the experiences we offer, expectations in tourism are very subjective.

For many years I was scared that any negative reviews or feedback would scare business away. We’re small anyway and if we were to lose even a small percentage of business due to negative reviews, we would struggle. I never wanted to compete directly with our competitors who try and capture a bigger market. We were comfortable with not trying to be all things to all people. To say this is us. This is what we stand for. This is what we believe in.

It took me a while to but I decided I wanted our guests to know that I valued their opinion – regardless of whether that was positive, negative or somewhere in the middle. That I saw it as an opportunity for us as a company to learn and improve. So I started to email our guests from that specific year with the overall feedback from that same year – the good, the bad, and what we were going to take from it.

And the result has been surprising with guests that had written something that could be termed negative replying that they would recommend us based on our willingness to learn and adapt. It seems that my yearly feedback emails have helped to build trust.

Of course, we still make mistakes. But instead of being afraid of failure, I think they help us to grow and evolve. Yes, we still stumble but at least we are keeping on moving forward. So that’s why I am proud to say that Eternal Landscapes Mongolia is not scared of a negative TripAdvisor review.

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