A growing travel business not only grows in value but also in the number of customers that it serves throughout the years. The second increase is key, as there are many businesses that have great ideas but insufficient outreach to the public and the communities that they are part of, and, thus, no growth in their customer bases. Advertising may occur as the most obvious solution to this problem, but it is often costly and not as effective as some less direct methods, especially for travel agencies. So, if you are a travel professional, the following is a must-have and must-do list of ways in which you can increase consumer engagement and make your agency the coolest kid on the block:
Create a slogan you'd want to hear Think of a company with a catchy slogan. It is highly probable that most of your friends and family know this company's slogan too and can repeat it in their sleep. Good slogans paint a mark in consumers' memories, and make the company the first stop for consumers' purchases. So, give your company a slogan- a catchy, short, and effective one. Start a brainstorming session in your office or with your friends, depending on whether you work in-house or as an independent agent. Put it on your business cards, emails, etc.. This will not only better your customers' engagement but also your overall brand image.
Attend an event The travel industry is booming and the number of its members is increasing. To accommodate the social and mingling needs of these members (agency owners, independent agents, hotel and cruise company employees), the industry sets up hundreds of annual travel industry events every year. These events take place in several major cities, so if you live in one- go. And if you do not, then take a day trip to one to learn more about the industry you love so much. These events come in various shapes and sizes; they could be networking events, educational seminars, or celebratory luncheons. Whichever event it is, however, there is always an opportunity for you to mingle with fellow travel industry members as well as customers interested in exploring new travel options. Make your selling piece compact In this case, a selling piece refers to what you give a new customer in order to make them interested in your business- it is the hook that will set a customer's eyes on your business. A good selling piece consists of a 30-45 second pitch and a tangible representation of your brand (e.g. your business card). It should not be longer than that- no one wants to here someone ramble on about what they do. Make it short, effective, and always carry around a few business cards with you (more if you are attending an event). Connect with local businesses Reaching out to local businesses does not only benefit the welfare of local communities, but also creates a two way street. Getting to know local business owners and doing business with them will make them want to do business with you. This often leads to many of their employees doing business with you as well. You support them, and they support you- simple. Don't be afraid to initiate Whether you are at a travel event or the bar at a dinner party, do not be disgruntled by taking the first step. Attending events means nothing if you do not approach people, and people love to talk about themselves. Ask a few questions and then introduce your business- use your travel agent selling piece. You may not only gain a client but also find this person's business to be of interest to you and your travel company. Remember that the sole purpose of these events is to socialize and learn, so do not hesitate to do just that.