The best marketing is the marketing that other people do for you. The best people to do this are the people who continue to buy your service – your customers.
One of the questions I always ask travel agents is ‘Who are your customers’?
Replies vary widely but here are a few examples:
- ‘Well anyone really’!
- ‘Everybody can use my service’!
- Somebody who wants a holiday!
- I don’t know!
Let me be a bit more specific. Who are your main groups of customers?
For example, do you cater for a large number of retirees? Do you have a large demand for cruises?
What groups do your current customers fall into? Is your office based on a golden mile?
Why do you need to know?
Because when you know, you can target your customers more effectively with potentially massive returns.
- What is your customers preferred method for you to communicate with them? Email, phone, flyer and so on…..
- What products are they specifically interested in ? Hotels in Thailand, winter holidays in New Zealand?
- What is their budget and preferred dates?
But perhaps the most important:
- Which products are the most profitable for you?
- What constitutes a valuable and profitable client?
There is an old proverb; ‘out of sight, out of mind’. This is so true for travel agents. So we need to focus on ways in which we can keep in contact with our customers. For example;
‘Would you like to be kept up-to-date on the latest deals that are of interest to you’? Please complete this form detailing your holiday preferences……
‘Thank you for your business’! As a thank you from us, please find enclosed a $100 voucher toward your next booking with us.
The more you know your customer and are able to keep in contact with them, the more repeat and recommend business you will pick up.
It’s been tremendous working with Martin and I look forward to his continued input (Mark Luckey).
Excerpts taken from ‘The missing dimension in marketing”
by Martin Bailey
Martin runs industry focused Word of Mouth Marketing training and coaching sessions across Australia. For further information, please go to www.networkingstrategies.com.au
Mark Luckey, Managing Director; RoomsXML & WebSource Pacific writing for e-Travel blackboard