Are you one of the travel agents who is afraid that the internet is eating into their business? People will tell you that your industry is dying because they can book their own travel online.
While that is true, people can also cook their own food, and yet, food retail in restaurants is a multibillion industry.
Online travel agencies such as Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz make up to 43% of all travel booking in the US, raking in excess of $585 billion. The traditional brick and mortar travel agencies make up the rest, with a total of $600 billion in sales.
So, is the travel agency industry dying? Not by any chance! The industry is just changing and the following tips will help you win new customers.
Promote your travel agency among friends, family and social networks
Send them emails, post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Ensure your destinations are described elaborately with pictures and videos. See your followers as new possible customers.
Pro Tip: Google recently changed their algorithm to punish SEO marketers whose content is scanty. Black hat SEO strategies no longer work. Fresh, interesting, and interactive content is the new juice.
Use your existing clients when they are fresh from an exciting trip
If you are doing your job right, then you will have helped hundreds of clients experience their dream vacation. When their memories are still fresh, send them a welcome home email, asking them to introduce you to new customers. Make sure they also leave you a sparkling review on your website or social media channels.
Try the ambassador program
Here, you will use your existing customers to promote your services on their social media platforms. You can reward them by knocking off a percentage of their bills for every customer they bring you.
Chronicle your own trips on social media
Being a travel agent, you obviously know a thing or two about having fun during your vacations. If you can document your trip, new or existing customers would want to have a similar trip.
Use tags, hashtags and influencers to increase followers
Imagine getting the attention of a big travel supplier on your Facebook page. Such an influencer has wide followership that will the much needed traffic to your page.
Be passionate about your posts
If your posts on your website and social media channels look half-hearted, then you will not attract lots of attention. In the world of social media there is no middle ground - you are either passionate or you are not.
Don’t be faceless!
Your clients need to trust you especially if they are new. Nobody would trust their money on a faceless travel agent. Try to connect with your client before you start demanding payments from them.
Help your potential customers create a bucket list
There is no better way to get a customer than to create lists on your websites. You can for example come up with “top cities in Europe that you must see”, “top 210 beaches in Jamaica”, or “top World Heritage Sites in Australia”. You will then post these lists with their beautiful pictures on social media to kindle your potential customers’ imagination of an ideal vacation.
Try Offering Deals
Use great bargains such as car rentals, special room rates, last minute deals etc. New customers are very easily drawn to websites where they can save a few dollars.
In case of emergencies, keep the customers posted
Sometimes your customers get themselves in trouble. Sometimes unforeseen emergencies occur. If you want to get a customer for a lifetime, be there when they need you.
Personalized customer care
Try to handle customer issues as they arise. Your online presence is important since it shows your potential customers that if they ever have a problem, they know where to get help.
Target the millennials
Most likely than not, the older generations will already have a travel consultant. The millenials are yet to gain a foothold in the industry. Their love of the internet makes them very easy to access through social media.
Sell the benefits, NOT the product/service
What benefit does your travel package give to your new customers? What makes it better than your competitors’? New customers are looking for win-win benefits from their travel advisor.
Sometimes new customers are hard to come by. You can work around this by increasing the revenue per customer on the already existing ones. You can for example offer a package that includes the flight, hotel and ground transportation. This means the revenue you will get from every customer will be higher.
Enhance your B2B network
The larger your network with other travel agencies, the better customer numbers you will have. Sometimes, you will refer customers to your competitors and sometimes they will refer some to you.
For more tips, click here to consult Travel Agency Tribes consultants.
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