This is your chance to learn:
Customers always want to feel valued when they interact with a business and, as a customer-centric business, it is essential that you give them that experience. There are many reasons why this is important, such as the importance of the customer’s first impression of your business and their subsequent attitude towards it. More importantly though, it is one of the most important and most effective ways to increase your repeat business. It is difficult to effectively engage customers from start to finish, but if you can do it, they will have a better experience with you and they may well come back!
Happy, satisfied customers also like to tell other people about the experience they had. This word-of-mouth advertising is like normal advertising on steroids because, firstly, you don’t have to pay for it and, secondly (and most importantly), people actually believe it. What’s more, people who become advocates for your business engage customers for you with information about your activities, so you don’t even have to! This is a double-edged sword though, because people who have negative experiences tell other people about those as well. This makes it all the more important to try and make sure that your customers have the best experience possible.
The first step to engage customers in the lead up to your tour is to use Facebook and your website. These outlets are really effective in giving customers a feel for the values of your business, as well as in giving them a chance to get to know you before they even book. As the examples in the webinar demonstrate, including elements like testimonials on your website are very effective to engage customers from the outset because it gives your business an air of professionalism and legitimacy that puts people more at ease with the prospect of handing over their hard-earned money to you.
Even after they click the ‘book now’ button, your work is not over yet! You still have to engage customers during the lead-up to the activity. Once a customer actually makes the booking, Rezdy automatically sends them a confirmation email. This will likely be the first direct interaction the customer has with your business and it’s a good way to reassure them that the booking is locked in, has been paid for and you are ready to go with them on that date. It also gives you a chance to say thank you and that you’re looking forward to seeing the customer. This personal touch goes a very long way towards making the customer feel valued.
The confirmation email gives you the opportunity to add details about the tour and lay out any terms and conditions so that there aren’t any surprises when the customer arrives. No one likes surprises, so if your tour has things like particular clothing requirements, you can make sure you give your customers the heads-up. You can also send them a reminder text in the lead up to your tour – one or two days beforehand. This makes sure that your customer feels like you haven’t forgotten about them.
One really excellent way to engage customers during the tour is to take some photos and videos. You can use these for your own marketing purposes (make sure you ask your customers for permission first!), and you can also make them available on your Facebook page for your customers to tag themselves and share. This creates memories for them, but it also lets them share their experience with their friends – more word-of-mouth advertising for you!
It is also very worthwhile getting opinions and feedback during the tour as well – positive and negative. Collecting negative feedback early is very important for a couple of reasons: firstly it lets you uncover problems and solve them early, and secondly it gives you the chance to hear negative feedback face to face, which might mean you can avoid it being posted publicly for everyone to see.
Rezdy can automate up to three follow-up emails as well. These emails are a valuable method for collecting feedback as well as making sure that your customers enjoyed their experience. This also has the benefit of being a private, one-on-one exchange, so once again you might be able to avoid any negative feedback being published online. Having said that, it is worthwhile asking your customers to leave you a review on TripAdvisor or Facebook. If you prompt them, more of them who had positive experiences might leave reviews, otherwise only the people who had negative experiences might feel compelled to post a review.
Besides that, the follow up email makes your customer feel like you as a business owner personally care about them, rather than simply saying ‘thanks for your money, goodbye.’
Lastly, you can send a follow-up email with a coupon, either a promo code or a voucher, that allows them to come back to your business or give it to a friend or relative and refer them to your business instead. It’s a good way to drive repeat business from local customers or to expand your customer network.
If you want to improve your marketing even further we encourage you to read more about marketing for tour operators.