With more than 25 years in retail travel, Scott Koepf is the Senior Vice President of Sales for Avoya Travel, one of the world’s largest and most innovative travel companies.
Why is it important to keep customers for life?
Studies have shown that it takes six times the effort (time and money) to find a new customer versus keeping the ones you have. So it is more than worth the effort to build a relationship of trust with customers. In today’s environment agents not only need to build those relationships but to express to the customer right away that a lifetime customer is the intent. And then they need to tell them why and then prove it!
This is where sales and marketing merge. “Marketing is the process of becoming A choice, Sales is becoming THE choice!”
It’s about building a customer relationship management strategy to increase retention and increase repeat sales. A few shared best practices are:
* Take the time to get to know your customer
* Record key points about your customer
* Build the emotional connection with your customers
* Make recommendations that are built from the customer’s direct needs and interests
* You are the travel expert! Limit the amount of recommendations.
All communications (whether defined as marketing or sales is not important) need to be personalized. As coined by Peppers and Dorf, “One to One Marketing”. Each and every touch point should be personalized. A great agency will become proficient at Mass Personalization.
Go above and beyond for your customers making yourself memorable
Good is not good enough. Customers expect more – but more than what? Agents need to ask what the expectations are and then proceed to grandly surpass them. The best practice is to have a full list of exactly what you will do for your customer and to tell them ahead of time. As Rick Berra summed up in the title of his book agents need to “Overpromise AND Overdeliver!”
In 2014 Sue Ratliff, an Independent Agency of Avoya Travel, generated over $4.1 million in travel sales! What’s her secret?
Sue Ratliff has incorporated technology and high-touch service to stay connected to clients. She purchased in-flight wifi to make a booking while at 30,000 feet. However, Sue says, “technology never replaces personal relationships; I take time to form a friendship with clients.” I’m available anytime they want to talk and want them to think “I’ll call my friend Sue.”
It’s golden, it’s priceless!
Happy customers often turn into customers for life and can provide you with some of the best marketing that you could ever receive! Keeping a customer for a life is not only about repeat sales, it’s about generating referrals too! It’s a win, win!
Avoya Travel®, an ‘American Express Agency of the Year’ winner, is devoted to helping travel professionals live a lifestyle of success. Avoya is committed to increasing the incomes of its Independent Agencies and to fulfill its goal, Avoya offers independent travel businesses new clients from Live Leads™, a stellar reputation, award-winning technology, best-in-class marketing, live support, Instant Commission™, professional development, and more.
Travel agency owners and experienced professionals interested in growing their businesses should contact Avoya Travel at 1-888-447-8512 or visit www.JoinAvoya.com.