Can you Imagine?
Wouldn't it be nice to have your annual marketing costs go down while sales increase every year? This is what will happen when your guides and staff are enrolled in helping you promote your travel operation, lodge or destination.
How your staff and owners/management interact with guests can radically increase your sales. And best of all, it doesn’t have to cost you any money.
The most profitable travel providers and promoters know that all staff - especially those in contact with guest most -– play a critical role in their organization's overall growth, profitability, and success.
- Great Staff that Increase Your Sales Do the Following -
- Providing outstanding customer service, both on trips and at the home office.
- Actively educating guests/clients about other travel /lodging opportunities the company offers.
- Inviting guests to return and to make referrals.
- Participating in trade shows.
- Assisting with phone sales, particularly during off-season.
- Maintaining high standards for training staff and enrolling students.
- Customer Service Success -
If you are in the travel industry—you are in the service industry. We deliver an intangible service: an experience, a memory, a feeling. It's not like buying a car, where a customer can kick the tires or breathe in that unmistakable new-car smell. What our clients take away from their time with us are memories, new skills and perhaps, broadened self- knowledge. These feelings, both positive and negative, are a direct reflection of their experience with your company and staff.
Tim’s Tip: Exceptional customer service is one of the best and most effective marketing you’ll ever do. Unfortunately, one of the most overlooked. If a client has had a good experience of your destination or service, they will be more inclined to send you a referral and come back again. This is “no cost marketing”.
-Your Best Investment - Training staff -
For most field staff and managers, getting them to encourage and invite repeat business and referrals takes training. Be sure that they understand that the quality they provide when guiding trips plays an important role in influencing your guests. Everyone, especially the field staff, needs to be clear that without customers, there are no jobs.
Your managers need to hire and train staff to yield the results you are looking for. While you're at it, don't forget to train anyone who comes in contact with a prospective guest. It's amazing how many companies project a poor image when an unexcited or unknowledgeable staff member or volunteer interacts with the public - especially frontline phone sales and reservationists.
Tim’s Tip: Role-play with your staff. Remind staff that great customer service can mean increased tips!
- Staff at Travel Trade Shows -
Trade shows and public presentations are great opportunities for knowledgeable field staff to enthusiastically communicate face to face with prospective clients. Who else can share with prospective visitors your great trips or destinations, better then field guides?
Tim’s Tip: Role-play here with your staff is key. Also check out “Travel Tradeshow Success" audio course. Don’t consider exhibiting without listening to this. This can increase your success and revenues ten fold. http://www.AdventurebizSuccess.com/products.php
- Phone Sales Tip -
Phone sales present another opportunity to engage your staff effectively. Field staff know your product better then anyone, but not all staff is suited for phone sales. Use judgement for this important “gateway” position.
- Next Steps to Success -
Your staff, regardless of whether they work in the field or not, are one of your most important assets. Make the investment of time to select the best candidates for the job, provide ongoing training and reviews, and create incentive programs to compensate your staff for their guide work, as well as for their ability to encourage returning clients and obtain new referrals. Outstanding customer service, combined with unique trips, great lodging and enthusiastic, motivated staff, will assure continued and increasing business success for you and your business.
Tim’s Tip: I hate to sound like a broken record, but train and role-play regularly. Make calls to your staff and simulate a variety of prospective calls: friendly, captious or unsure prospects. How about existing clients? Can they be friendly or need assistance? Even occasionally angry? Be prepared to handle all calls professionally with service, your #1 commitment.
Tim Warren, author of “Tourism Marketing Success" and founder of Adventure Business Consultants has trained tourism professionals globally in customer service and how to increase arrivals sales and profits since 1994.