Mexico City Tour Provider Recaptures 1/3 of Her Day With Xola
Only someone as gutsy as Lesley Téllez would head for Mexico City without so much as a plan for what she would do there. Lesley, a journalist and the founder of Eat Mexico, did know that she “had fallen for the food fast and hard.”
“I was struck by how unusual a lot of the dishes were. It was like nothing I’d seen in California or in Texas.”
She started off the food tours as a side project while she plotted her next step. She soon discovered, however, that Eat Mexico was that next step. Today, she runs tours in Mexico City and Pueblo, giving guests a rare look into the world of street food.
As Eat Mexico grew in popularity, Lesley was increasingly swamped with emails from prospective guests. Processing payments was a chore, and a particularly tortuous one at that. She would have to search her payment system for a log that matched a booking, and then follow up via email with the guest.
“Basically I would get up and immediately check my email to see if any requests had come in overnight,” Lesley recalls. From there ensued a flurry of emails, double-checking payments, and numerous follow ups. “There were a lot of steps involved,” she says.
This whole process could take hours. Every hour she spent managing the minutiae of booking was an hour she wasn’t thinking about how to help visitors taste as much of Mexico City’s street food as possible. For Lesley, the her favorite part of the job “is the emphasis on the food.” Without a booking system, one-third of her time was being diverted away from her passion and toward back-end administration.
“We’re seeing at least 30% higher growth month over month from last year…Xola definitely was a big part of it.”
The bigger picture
The time Lesley spent working through a full inbox wasn’t just mind-numbing, it was inefficient. Every hour that she spent addressing routine bookings was an hour that she wasn’t researching new food or calming customers’ uneasy stomachs. Essentially, she was losing time she could have used to develop and grow Eat Mexico and its customer base.
A new way
Getting that time back for company development was huge. “Any time that we are not having to respond on email answering questions that could be done in an automated way is more time to be able to go research the food and create a better product,” Lesley says.
In her eyes, “the tour is a living breathing thing. It changes. It evolves,” but that evolution requires cultivation and cultivation takes time.
Xola gave her that time by automating her booking process, centralizing it on the cloud, and preempting customer questions with detailed confirmation and reminder emails. The magnitude of the time recovery was striking even to us: about a third of her business day, according to Lesley.
Success With Xola
Lesley took that third of her day and ran with it.
Eat Mexico has risen to the number one rank for activities in Mexico City on TripAdvisor, with almost 200 reviews. That has translated to real growth: Lesley says, “we’re seeing at least 30% higher growth month over month from last year…Xola definitely was a big part of it.”
Looking forward, Lesley is unfazed by Eat Mexico’s prodigious success as she works on her forthcoming cookbook. “I think at this point I’m just enjoying it,” she says, especially “being able to promote what’s important about Mexican food.