Following on from my previous blogs (Can Travel Agents Really Compete and the Travel Agent’s Survival Guide 2017) we have received a lot of very interesting comments and points for discussion – so thank you to all of you who got in touch.
Being a Travel Agent isn’t an easy job. Providing a highly comprehensive, personal level of service is definitely the key to success – but I still stand by the fact that you have to embrace new technologies to make sure you get your message out there to your customers. So – how do you do this?
Start with your website
When was the last time you updated your site? Does it now look dated? How do you compare to your competitors? These are all valid questions to ask yourself – but more importantly – is your website mobile friendly?
If you want to stay ahead of the game, you need a fresh website that provides an excellent user experience, that works across all mobile devices and which inspires your customers to travel. If your website does none of these things – then you need to invest some time and money in this to bring yourself up to date. Your website is literally your biggest sales tool and if it’s done and marketed correctly, customers will come straight to you. I personally would never purchase anything from a business whose website was outdated and difficult to use when there are so many better options out there. Take a look at the website that we recently redeveloped for Rough Guides – how does your website compare to this one?
The benefits of redeveloping your website far outweigh any initial outlay so it’s something you should seriously consider.
Define your Message and Shout about it
As you know, there are so many travel companies out there, all competing for business. Find what sets you apart from your competitors and market the hell out of it using the latest technologies. Whether it is a niche area of expertise, extra levels of service that no-one else provides or something completely different – get that message out there far and wide.
Once you have a new website to market, make sure that message is strong and that its also consistent across your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. You will also need to work hard on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), but keep that message unique and strong to really stand out and use Social Media as much as you can. Your new website should be integrated with your social media feeds anyway so this will make this task an easier process.
Customer reviews can really make a big difference when it comes to getting new business and technology helps you to get your reviews noticed.
Your customers buy from you for a reason. They keep coming back to you because they love the service and expertise that you provide – so why not get them to shout about you too? Everything is on the internet now, and people love reviews. I don’t book any accommodation without checking Trip Advisor first and I wouldn’t employ any tradesperson without seeking positive reviews. The same applies to the travel industry so ask your customers to write reviews and testimonials for your business and get them out there via Facebook, Google and your website.
Add an additional level of service
Customers love to feel valued. They also love hassle-free travel. You already do all that you can to make the booking process as easy and informative as possible for your customers, but why not go that extra mile?
Most people now expect to have everything they need on their mobile device. Consider investing in a Travel Itinerary app for your customers so that they have all of their travel information with them on their mobile wherever they go. The app can also include local tourist information and recommended activities to really enhance their travel experience. This is a great way of showing your customers that you care and that you’re a modern, forward-thinking company who is moving with the times.
I hope that you find all of this information useful and that it helps you to stay ahead in a very competitive market. If you need any assistance or would like to speak to us about developing a travel website or app, please get in touch with our team.