With every passing day, the tour operators face bigger challenges than ever to keep travelers convinced and excited about their Travel Plans. On the contrary, it’s gotten easier than ever to start a new travel business as people are ever-hunting newer places for travelling each year. Estimates have it at approximately 7.6 Trillion Dollar for Travel and Tourism Industry evaluation in 2016, which is growing day by day.
The most pressing issue faced by travel agencies and holiday businesses is the curse of online players. With the easy availability of online giants it’s very difficult for local Travel Agency or tour operators to sell their deals to the customers. So here a good read on what and how can few changes in your work-style and business approach help you course-correct your audiences from a “No” to a “May Be” to a “Yes”.
GIVE THEM A WARM WELCOME
You will not get a second chance to make first impression!
Weather it is a lead received through a reference, or a telephone call, or a website hit, or even a simple walk-in; it is always advisable to stand apart and make the correct welcoming first impression. Focus on being so gentle in greeting them that they surely make a note of that. The warmth and comfort you make your users, clients or customers – experience plays a pivotal role in their decision making.
How? Here are some cool ways:
- If it’s a Referral Client, send a warm welcome email when you receive lead and introduce yourself and ask for the right time to talk or invite them over a meeting or cup of tea.
- For Website based leads, DO NOT ignore the prowess of an auto reply sent to customer with confirmation that you received their query and you are working on it. Make sure you include your detailed email signature and precise time by which they can expect a reply back.
- For walk-in guests, arrange fresh welcome drink and provide them with an easy and relaxed cool place to sit. Fill-up the waiting area with your happy customer photos and travel quotes. If possible arrange a TV screen which showcases your happy customer’s photos and testimonials. When stories talk, you might not have to!
LISTEN, LISTEN AND LISTEN
While interacting for the first time, prefer having one to one meeting as nothing appeals the focus and commitment than having a personal interaction with the prospective client. When in the meeting, politely ask questions and get to know more about their preferences.
Here are some key questions you may want to explore:
– What kind of holidays are they looking for? Is it Family, adventure, leisure, romantic, etc.
– When and where they last travelled and how were their experiences? The good and the bad; find out both and make a note of that.
– What are their hotel preferences?
– What kind of food preferences do they have?
– Any specific location or destination they have in mind and why?
– Any budget or cost they have in mind for the trip?
Note down all the answers precisely. More you know about the customer’s expectations, less you need to think while designing a tour itinerary for them. After hearing all the points; buy yourself a day or two to plan out perfect holidays for your prospects.
RESEARCH ABOUT TOURS BEFORE PREPARING YOUR PLAN
Know it all. Know all there is. Knowledge can be a decisive factor in making the clients convinced about your competence and expertise. It is very likely that your detailed insights from the extensive tour research proves to be the sole advantages over the human-less online tourism options.
Try internet, try travel blogs, try competition websites and layer it with the finesse of “Human Touch” by getting people with that particular travel experience and deriving the untapped human-angle in your tailor-made tour plans.
A plan well made, is plan well presented, is a plan well received.
PREPARE NEAT CLEAN TRAVEL ITINERARY –
What’s going to happen during the entire trip? Design a detailed layout of all the important places, dates, locations, people, in charge personnel and emergency situation tactics. Don’t forget to also cover matters such as costing, inclusions and exclusions, other terms, payment options, sightseeing details and photographs etc.
People like to feel special, so going an extra mile will only add to your credibility. Try giving them hotel options, budget options, give tour duration options and route options. Use online Travel Itinerary Planners and Travel CRM like www.TripControl.net that provides all such critical insights and focuses on furnishing users with all relevant information on the go.
ARRANGE PERSONAL MEETINGS –
Nothing beats the personal experience of meeting and greeting people in person. The human touch is an engrained plus over all other digital options out there. Try meeting your clients in person. Discuss their travel plan or at least run through your offerings with them. Try to enhance their engagement in making their trips more joyful. Don’t assume or hypothecate on behalf of customers. Try to be transparent and clear about what you want to convey and offer.
TAKE FEEDBACK –
This is one thing people often undermine while practicing travel and tourism business. It is very vital that you prioritize taking feedbacks in your customer relationship legacy. It’s a proven fact that customers who have had a chance to give feedback and inputs in their travel plans and post-travel, tend to stay loyal to the travel partners for much longer time. The secret ingredient is satisfaction. And of course, taking feedbacks is just the half of the game. It only makes sense if your response timing and team is equipped to not make customer wait.
Please understand that a complaint un-answered, or answered late can be fatal to your lead, as customers tend to interpret that as your lack of commitment.
FOLLOW UPS –
Once you’ve presented your travel plan, the ball goes in the client’s court. But that doesn’t mean that you have to literally sit and wait it out. Nor does this mean that you have to irritate the client with obnoxious follow-ups to only take them to rejection out of irritation. Tapping on the follow-ups is a key element to swaying customers from a confused MAY BE to a big YES!
– Never keep a lead open
– Follow up until you hear NO!
– Schedule personal meetings to understand concerns and resolve them with the customer-centric approach
ALWAYS KEEP YOUR DATA READY
It is common for the travel planners to witness the crucial test of comparisons. In these times, letting your clients know the pros and cons of choosing and not choosing your plan must be handy and ready. Handling such sensitive moments aptly, often has the potential to win the whole deal!
ALWAYS KEEP ROOM FOR NEGOTIATION –
Negotiations are not just a cultural attribute of human society, but there is also a personal sense of pride associated with it. It is how, even affluent people, try to earn their satisfaction of having gotten you to make amendments. This is where some agents act in the stone- hearted manner and lose out on the business. You must understand that negotiations in rates and plans must be allowed for, right from the time of framing the plans.
In extremely competitive space, it will still make sense to give compelling reasoning for your inability to give discounts rather than approaching with an offensive ‘Take it or leave it’ attitude.
With this, we leave you to have a happy, satisfying and more fruitful tour operations and planning experience for your business. If you wish to explore the robust travel and tourism assistance of www.TripControl.net, please feel free to chime in.