By: Joanie Ogg CTC, MCC
How many people do you know who have cruised once or even taken a leisure vacation of any type and have simply
decided when it was over to NEVER do it again. Not too many of us likely know anyone who fits that scenario. Thank goodness since we are in the business of selling leisure travel, vacations, celebrations, reunions, and basically fulfilling the customers need to continue to enjoy traveling.
The great thing about our business is that it is such an easy sale and once people go and enjoy what you have planned for them they generally come back for more. How many of us can eat just one cookie or one potato chip? Well, how many people only want to travel once? We are in a perfect position to continually build our businesses by simply doing a great job and keeping our customers satisfied with their travel experiences (as best we are able to control those experiences.) We do need to do that and I think we need to do much, much more. I think we need to create a Customer Care Strategy and do more than they can ever expect to keep them happy and loyal customers for life.
Following are just a few Customer Care ideas for your agency. You may already be doing many of these but perhaps there will be a few you had not thought of and might like to try out. Just remember how great you feel when you can truly feel that your business is valuable to the vendor you are buying from. It not only creates loyalty but it also makes you feel that your business matters as it should.
Customer Care Strategies
Survey Your Customers – Send out either an email survey or a simple one page easy to do survey quarterly to all your clients. It serves a number of purposes. It allows them to share their thoughts and gives you the chance to improve upon your business unless you are getting all A+’s. It also will keep you in the minds-eye of your clients. It is just a reminder that you are there and want to be the best that you can for them.
Thank You #1 – Send out a letter or card no less than 48 hours after they have purchased from you thanking them for the business. Just a simple thank you card will suffice and perhaps a note to them about when you will be back in touch if there is necessary follow-up on the reservation.
Thank You #2 – After the trip is completed be sure to follow up within one week of their return asking how it went and gaining the necessary feedback you need to constantly improve your service. If you want to take it a step further you can always send a brief survey with it asking for their thoughts in return. Be sure to make it easy to complete and put postage paid on the envelope so it is a simple process. If you make it too lengthy and hard they just won’t do it. You can also put in a coupon in the envelope for a discount or some sort of bonus when they come back and buy from you again.
Greeting Cards and Personal Notes – Most of you probably already do this which is great but for those who have not, do it now. This really works. Sure most companies do this now such as Victoria Secret, Nordstrom ok all of you get those right? Hmmm perhaps I spend too much money there and I am really special! Don’t tell my husband ladies if you don’t get those. You know what I mean though. We all like to be remembered on special days be it anniversary, weddings, graduation, promotions, etc. The list goes on and on and it is simply a great idea to endear yourself to your customers with this special touch.
Luckily for all of us in this great business of ours, the many programs and sources of database marketing are bountiful. They are inexpensive and worth their weight in gold because they can make the process of all these Customer Care Strategies seem like a walk in the park. Remember to personalize as much as you are able to. I find that a handwritten card or note means so much more to me then one that is obviously automated. Just a personal preference perhaps but it seems to have an impact on me and I suspect it does to you as well. The benefits of Customer Care are many. You will endear yourself and your service to your client and will strengthen your client retention and loyalty. You will turn your customer into the best sales force you could ever have!