Who are Featured Experts?
Featured Experts are travel enthusiasts and writers who have been especially curated by GoPo to professionally consult travelers on how to plan their holiday itineraries. These Experts offer guidance basis their own experiences in that place.
How do we select Featured Experts?
Customers who come to the GoPo platform are looking for people they can trust will deliver an awesome experience. Understanding what increases trust in a customer’s mind can help increase your chances of convincing them to try your services. While vetting Featured Experts, we keep these customer requirements in mind. Some of the requirements we have of our Featured Expert are:
Strong Work Ethic: We back good work and quality. Our aim is to ensure a consistently excellent experience for travelers and for Featured Experts like yourself by building a credible platform. Additionally, we are looking for credible advice drawn from your personal experience. Hence, plagiarism of any nature (including but not limited to answers on the forum, images used, consultations given, etc) will strictly not be entertained. Experts seen indulging in the same will be immediately barred from the platform.
Timely Delivery: Deadlines and Commitments are sacrosanct. We are looking to partner with Travel Experts who take on the responsibility of managing expectations for both small and large projects, communicate in a timely manner with the utmost respect and with a customer-centric tone (even when projects get tough or are misjudged). The Featured Expert must respect the time-frame set in their consultation estimates and should accept a requirement only if they are willing to and accept responding to the customer’s queries with little or no delay. All escalations or complaints will need to be responded to and addressed within 24 hours.
Communication Skills: We are looking for Featured Experts who have the necessary communication skills to clearly understand the requirements mentioned in a potential customer’s brief and who can clearly communicate to the Customer about their proposed deliverables and exclusions.
Accuracy in Estimates: Travel is often whimsical in nature and hence, requirements can come in different shapes and sizes. However, estimates once shared and approved are final and binding. Hence, we ask that our Experts set realistic expectations with the Customer.
Chargebacks: While we make every effort to match customers with relevant Experts, it is the Expert’s responsibility to understand the customer’s requirement accurately and share an estimate for the consult accordingly. Any chargebacks incurred due to unsatisfactory service delivery will be levied on the Featured Expert. That said, any requests for refunds will be evaluated by the team at GoPo before accepting/rejecting the same and opinions from both stakeholders will be sought during this process.
Sustainable Relationships: At GoPo, we’re looking at building sustainable relationships with our Experts, over a long-term. While, an Expert can discontinue their consults at any time, we ask that you come on-board only if you’re willing to commit to the platform for at least 6 months or more.
Open Communication & Feedback: At GoPo, we recognize that our Featured Experts are the backbone of our business. Hence, your experience and feedback is important to us. Please feel free to share any concerns or grievances you may have with us at email@example.com and we promise to respond promptly.
What are Itinerary Consultations?
At GoPo, we believe that every one wants to have a spectacular travel experience but several falter on the way for one or more of the following reasons:
- Confused by too many options and information and not sure where to start planning.
- Short on time and planning on nights and weekends is just not cutting it.
- Confused by conflicting reviews and opinions from faceless names online and is simply looking for a more personal and reliable interaction.
- Want a semi-autonomous plan wherein, one can choose their hotels and flights basis their convenience instead of shelling out large sums for off-the-shelf, group/individual packages by a Travel Agent.
- Have several specific requirements (such as ‘a road trip that is safe for pregnant women?’, ‘planning a solo hitchhiking trip across Spiti?’, ‘looking for homestays in Kerala that can offer Jain food?’ etc.) that require personalized attention.
For such situations, we have itinerary consultations wherein, one can share their requirements and our Featured Experts take on the itinerary planning for them.
How does it work?
Every consultation begins with the Customer who shares his requirements in as much specificity as possible. These requirements are then shared with relevant Featured Experts who are either matched by GoPo (basis the requirement) or chosen directly by the Customer. Interested Featured Experts need to respond to the Customer with a Quote (within 2 working days) that contains details of their expertise, an outline of the itinerary they propose to put together, any exclusions, number of days required to put together the itinerary and the cost of consultation.
The customer receives these Quotes from the Featured Experts and chooses a Featured Expert he/she would like to work with. Once the customer approves the Quote, he/she makes the payment on GoPo and the Featured Expert receives a confirmation to begin work on the Itinerary. This is then shared with the Customer for feedback and/or iterations. When the customer approves the itinerary, the transaction is completed and the amount is transferred to the Featured Expert within 7 working days.
Incase, a customer does not revert with feedback or questions within 48 hours of receiving the itinerary, the consultation will automatically be deemed to have been completed and the payment for the same will be transferred to the Featured Expert.
What can I charge?
No two requests are the same hence, deciding on the amount to quote lies at the discretion of the Featured Expert. However, we do study consumer purchase trends on the GoPo site to recommend pricing strategies. The recommendations are sent periodically and are meant for the benefit of the Featured Expert community at large. They are not meant to be specific to a Featured Expert or Request.
Incase, you are still not sure, we do suggest prices for ‘standard consultations’ to get you started. While recommended, these are not binding.
Can I log in via the website?
No, not immediately. The sign in/log in option that you see on the website is for customer log-ins only once a customer confirms a consult.
Important: Your App login credentials will not work on the website, until further notice.
How do I respond to itineraries?
Whenever a request matching your expertise is received, you will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org with details of the requirement. To submit a Quote, you can do so by responding to the same e-mail.
Do I need to make bookings for the customer too?
No, we don’t accept payment and responsibility for accommodation/flight/train/bus/cab/ event or any other bookings. Experts who wish to do the booking are free to offer their services to prospective customers. Such transactions and negotiations will need to happen one-on-one with the customers (not via the GoPo platform). GoPo will only be charging 15% referral fee for the Trip/Itinerary Consultation that happens via GoPo’s platform.
Incase, an Expert wishes to package bookings with a consult, please reach out to us at email@example.com with the request ID of the confirmed consult. We will connect you directly with the customer, in-case both the customer and the expert agree to communicate directly.
What if I want to offer multiple packages?
You can do so. The additional elements however will be treated as add-ons to the main quote instead of separate Quotes. For example, if you want to offer just an itinerary plan for each day for X and itinerary plan with accommodation options for X+Y, the Customer’s Order summary will appear as below:
Itinerary Plan: Rs. X
Add Ons: Accommodation Options: Rs. Y
Total Payable: Rs. (X+Y)
How will I know if a customer has responded to my itinerary?
If a customer makes a payment for the consult, a confirmation mail will be sent. Incase, he/she needs further clarification, their concerns/questions will be e-mailed to you.
How will I get paid?
Once the customer approves an itinerary, the payment is transferred directly to the Featured Expert’s account via NEFT within 7 working days of the date of final approval.
Are payments secure?
Yes. We work with PayU, a leading payment gateway service provider. All payments are encrypted using industry standard practices and a secure SSL layer. To ensure payment protection for both the Featured Expert and the Customer, we strongly urge both our customers and Featured Experts to transact payments via the GoPo platform only.
Is my privacy maintained?
At GoPo, privacy is of the utmost concern and spam is one of the things we hate the most. Hence, contact details are not shared with either the Featured Expert or the Customer until a Quote is approved and the consult begins. Once the consult is under way, E-Mail IDs only are shared with either party. Phone numbers can be shared at the discretion of both parties concerned. However, for the sake of transparent resolution in the case of any disputes, we would strongly recommend maintaining a written record of all communication.
Do I have to pay GoPo something?
We work on a referral fee basis. We are currently charging an inaugral referral fee of 15% on all transactions. This fee helps us cover the administrative costs of the platform and marketing costs.
How can I discontinue my services on the platform temporarily or permanently?
As travelers, we understand the spirit of wanderlust runs strong in you. You can discontinue your services at any point in time incase you don’t have any pending projects on hand. The same applies incase you wish to go on ‘vacation mode’ as you travel. However, we require that you give us sufficient advance notice. You can write in to us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Incase, you have pending consults on hand, we require that you plan the projects you accept in such a way as to allow atleast 7 days gap between handing over an itinerary and the date from when you will be unavailable.
At the end of the day, we are not looking to hire an Expert as an employee. Instead we are looking to build collaborative relationships and we ask for your cooperation in our joint growth.
Does GoPo guarantee my commercial success?
No. We only guarantee a great experience for you and for our Customers to keep them coming back time and again. All our efforts are aimed at generating qualified leads for Experts like you. Once, the lead is generated, the responsibility of delivering a great experience and building a loyal customer base lies in your control. That said, we do recognize and highlight the good work put in by our Experts by publicly highlighting customer feedback and periodic coverage on high performing Featured Experts in our consumer driven communication, among others.
That said, we notice that certain elements can drive greater credibility for a new customer:
Being ‘find’able: The crux of everything at GoPo begins with matching relevant Experts to Customers. One of the ways we do so is by drawing from information on your profile. Hence, we strongly recommend reviewing your profile periodically to ensure it has accurate and updated details. Also, sharing an exhaustive list of your areas of expertise and helping a stranger understand your travel personality better can go a long way in being found and contacted.
Peer Reviews: Like with everything else today, reviews play an important role in building confidence in the minds of potential customers. Hence, we strongly recommend ensuring your clients have a good experience and following up with them to share feedback. Remember, bad feedback always finds its way onto a review section but good feedback often gets lost, so be sure to ask all your clients for feedback. Additionally, if you find a bad review to be unfair, be sure to let us know at email@example.com and we’ll look into it promptly. Incase, your reservations are valid, we will flag the review and disable it on the site.
Participating in the GoPo community: Often times, prospective customers may be undecided ‘fence-sitters’. Hence, participating in the GoPo community (by interacting with customers and taking on consultation projects and participating on the mobile Forum by answering Questions) can help prospective customers understand your travel style better and make up their minds to consult with you. A note here, recency matters! Our experience shows that Customers are 60% more likely to consult Experts who are consistently active on the Forum and who have shown some activity in the recent past.
Quoting a Fair Price: This goes without saying. Understanding what the Customer is looking for and a fair price to charge for the same goes a long way. While, fine tuning this may take some time, experience with multiple projects is the only way to get there. For our part, GoPo will be monitoring purchase and usage trends and sharing recommendations periodically to help develop a growth centric partnership.
- Please note that for itineraries not submitted within the given time, the consult will automatically be cancelled and the customer receives a full refund. In case the customer agrees to extension of timeline for submission of itinerary, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will confirm with the customer before extending the same.
- If 3 orders or more of an Expert are cancelled within a period of 60 calendar days, due to non-delivery of itinerary within the agreed timeline, the Expert will be placed in a ‘cooling period’ of 30 days during which the Expert will not be forwarded any orders.
- For Itinerary Consultations submitted to the customers, in case of any dispute, GoPo will only match the submission with the Brief shared by the customer. GoPo will not judge the qualitative aspects that will only be reviewed by the customer. For example, if the brief requires a recommendation on stay, GoPo will check whether recommendation has been made for the same. Whether the recommended options to stay were indeed unique can only be gauged by the customer as a review.
- Repeat service delivery failures will be treated very seriously and GoPo reserves the right to terminate the profile listing and services provided, of a Featured Expert without prior notice.
- To maintain relevance, all requirements are kept open for a period of 2 working days or until a consult with a Featured Expert is confirmed, whichever is earlier. Post this time, we stop accepting quotes for a particular requirement. Note: the 2 day window does not apply for requirements where the Featured Expert is already in talks with the Customer.
- All quotes sent to the Customer contain a payment link to accept the Quote. These links are valid for a period of 72 hours from when they are sent post which the Quote is automatically declined.
- Post submission of a valid itinerary, Customers are given 48 hours to ask for clarifications/revisions post which the itinerary is automatically approved.
- Once a Quote is confirmed and paid for, the customer cannot cancel the request for itinerary.
Looking for help to get started on build your first itinerary quote? Get some pointers here.