It’s one of the most tried-and-true marketing tactics in the travel industry. Word of mouth referrals may be an ancient concept for tour and activity operators, but that doesn’t make them outdated. In fact, word of mouth is still one of the most powerful ways to increase your brand recognition in your destination and also on a global scale.
Here are 6 ways that are sure to boost your word of mouth referrals and ultimately help you increase your bookings:
- Create a referral system that is easy for your customers to use. Generating a significant amount of referrals requires you to have a specific system in place, rather than just simply asking a favor of those who participate in your tours and activities. Offer a form at the end of the tour, and send an automatic e-mail with a link that your guests can use.
- Design a referral rewards program. Travelers are more likely to refer your business to their friends and family if there is a reward for doing so. Many tour and activity companies find that a promo code for a future tour or a free souvenir item are exciting rewards that drive customers to refer their business to others.
- Send automatic reminders about surveys and online reviews. At the end of the experience, most travelers are going to continue on with their vacations. Even if they have the best intentions of recommending your tours to their friends and followers on social media, they might forget during the hustle and bustle of their travels. A quick e-mail reminder or text message reminder several days at the tour can trigger their memory and encourage them to refer your business.
- Engage with your past visitors and potential customers on social media. Social media has made it easier than ever for people to recommend tour and activity companies. Develop a positive presence on the most popular social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Monitor your brand activity and interact with those who are following your pages. This can help you establish positive relationships with your customers, which will translate into more referrals.
- Ask for referrals. The biggest mistake that most tour and activity operators make in regards to word of mouth referrals is that they forget to ask for them. Let your customers know in the automatic confirmation e-mail that your business thrives on word of mouth referrals. At the end of the tour, remind your customers that you appreciate referrals.
- Be grateful for the referrals that you do receive. If you do receive a referral from a customer, send them an e-mail thanking them or acknowledge their referral on social media. This will drive more referrals and ultimately increase your bookings.
Given the vast expanse of the Web, it’s no surprise that word of mouth referrals play an even more prominent role in the tour and activity industry. To find out how you can increase these referrals and use online feedback to your advantage, download the Rezdy online marketing ebook today.