A business without solid strategies is almost like a car without wheels. Honestly, when we talk about business strategies, customer relations becomes an undeniable topic for every industry, let alone the travel industry.
In the tourism and hospitality world, agents work with clients on a much more personal level. Your clients are travelers who need to trust you for their security. They expect delightful experiences through personalized services from you. Therefore, customer relations in the travel industry are critical from a business perspective.
Customer relations is a universally applied business strategy. However, there have been changes in customer expectations and challenges from the technological front. The question is, are you striving your best amidst the changing space? Let’s explore the psychology of customer relationships right from its core.
Companies obtaining greater customer retention values practice several methods of customer engagement to foster positive customer relationships. It helps them build brand loyalty and satisfaction with your products and services from the customer’s end, proportionately increasing sales and revenue to outrun the competition. Forbes reports that Brands with superior customer experience bring in 5.7 times more revenue than competitors that lag in customer experience.
Nurturing customer relationships includes providing smooth customer experiences, first-call resolution for minor roadblocks, and offering long-term solutions for greater customer success.
Let’s take an example. Suppose, you have a prospect who has selected a Fixed Departure trip for two earlier and wants to add another two but he/she is unable to add through the website. Now as they reach out, you can check whether the capacity is full and resolve their issue.
Again, let’s say you have provided the best possible tailored travel experience to a customer and you have reached out for feedback. Now your job is to take those insights, understand what your services are lacking, and act on them.
In short: it includes everything between proactive and reactive functions performed by your customer service team.
You perform proactive functions when you proactively engage with your travelers and let them know about the services that you offer, the highlights of the tour packages, and so forth. You show them your expertise to guide them about the travel packages and provide exclusive personalized or seasonal offers. You aim at all these efforts to engage them and evolve with their preferences and requirements to drive tremendous customer success.
On the other hand, you have reactive measures to undertake. These are efforts that your sales and support teams make to solve customer complaint issues. Your sales and support teams must align and respond to customer issues and remove the bottlenecks that they have been facing. The more delightful experiences you provide, the better you build relationships with customers.
Your potential customers are becoming progressively tech-savvy. They have thousands of options to do business with and their expectations are evolving. They see the value of your services – your product quality and the buying-post sales experience that you offer. To keep up with their expectations, companies are investing their resources to build strong customer relations. Here are some of the most prominent changes to consider.
Most of your prospects are tech-savvy and independent – they like to resolve issues by themselves rather than waiting for hours before a sales support rep connects with them. This change is major and has resulted in 81% of customers who expect more self-service portals. However, the need for human communication has not been reduced. Qualtrics reports that nearly three-quarters of consumers still want to interact with humans to resolve their billing or technical issues.
Customers have recently become more comfortable with brand interaction on different platforms. A crucial part of a power-packed customer experience (CX) strategy is a cohesive omnichannel approach. It is about aligning third-party integrations with your CRM system to create a compact sales journey.
Twilio is a customer engagement application that has the power of a contextual customer data platform and native omnichannel together in one solution to help you increase lifetime value to help you strengthen relationships with your clients.
Prospects expect you to look for their preferences and needs and communicate your recommendations across different channels. A live chatbot built with Zoho SalesIQ comes in handy. It greets your prospects and promotes the ideal tour choices or shares product information with them, whenever required.
The travel industry is highly competitive. Your target audience has hundreds of options to choose but you don’t. So they might even get the services that you offer, from your competitors. What differentiates you from others is the value of your services which depends on the quality of your tour package and customer experience. An Edelman report says that 63% of consumers expect to see a brand’s stand reflected in their business and operations. Therefore, your prospects are looking at the commitment your brand establishes.
Relationships take a lot of effort to grow. As business people, it has to be more on your part. You must establish strong connections with your customers while evolving your approach with trending preferences. Here’s what I have listed some of the key methods to build strong customer relations.
If you do not what your customer base needs from you, how can you offer them your product? There’s no space for irrelevance. So your first step should be to understand them to nurture them for long-term relationships.
Pro tip: Do not ever hold back your questions. The more you ask questions, the more your customer feels reciprocated and familiarized with interaction with you. Asking relevant questions is popularly known as the Socratic method of selling. Using this method, you can ask relevant questions to discover what exactly your traveler clientele is looking for in a trip and then bring value to the table.
Now obviously, you are expecting to manage hundreds of clients, each with unique needs. So you cannot handle them all by a simple spreadsheet. You need something more efficient and effective than that – a solution as good as Travel Agency CRM!
It extensively captures leads and helps you create customer profiles with automation. Whatever information you capture, gets streamlined automatically. You get a better idea about your customers, what they want, and the probable destinations that they might like to visit in the future. In other words, it enhances your chances of building strong relationships with customers as a whole.
When you have customer data captured in your software system, you already have the upper hand. You are supposedly a tad bit closer to your customers than your competitors. Your next job is to optimize this data to reach out to prospects and existing clients through different communication channels. With the right CRM in place, you can track customer behavioral patterns and build a personalized strategic communication flow. You can create and assign several follow-up tasks for your sales reps to maintain the relationship. Or better yet, if you want a subtle approach, use social media or email campaigns. A tailored CRM solution like Travel Agency CRM even documents email correspondences and social links to make your communication flow smoother. You can use effective tools like Zoho Social and Zoho Campaigns for the same.
Your goal is to engage with your customers to make them feel listened to, get insights, and bring out the best possible personalized tour plan that you recommend for them. But remember, your prospects get dozens of emails, so don’t overdo it. Keep it subtle and maintain frequency as per their behavioral patterns.
You’ll already gain brownie points when customers see that their reviews are being recognized and acted upon. And precisely, they are the ones who can give a clearer idea about where your services are working for you and where are they falling short. Therefore, strengthening customer relations also requires you to obtain honest reviews during the post-sales interaction stage.
You can use Zoho Survey to prepare your questionnaires with the 25+ customizable templates, including skip logic and piping. This application helps you collaborate with your team, enlist recipients, and collect data seamlessly. Now, the moment you receive feedback, you can gain and analyze insights to make more data-driven decisions. You can take notes from the critical ones and post the good ones as your website testimonials to increase your brand credibility even higher. Spiegel Research says that featuring customer reviews on a landing page can increase conversion rates by up to 270%.
Asking is only the first part. However, to improve your relationships, you must show customers you’re listening. For example, if they had a support inquiry, reach out and make sure the company solved their problem.
According to BrightLocal, more than half of consumers (60%) have posted a new customer review when prompted by the brand, and 76% of people “always” or “regularly” for business.
Customers will start taking you seriously only when you take them seriously. In business, every touchpoint interaction is critical. Why? They expect personalized services. Personalization can be only attained when you have a proper understanding of them. Since you are offering business, you need to have consistent communication with your customers. They want someone to rely and trust on. You can gain that level of trust while delivering a consistent customer experience.
As a professional travel agent, of course, you will aim to become available for your customers to support them. However, it is harder than it sounds, especially if you run a small or mid-sized company or startup. You cannot always be at their disposal. This is where you can introduce self-service options. You can build community forums and embed FAQs or knowledge bases so that your potential customers can find solutions independently.
Honestly, in today’s competitive landscape, you cannot make do with your business, if you haven’t integrated your business operations with Travel Agency CRM. Built on the renowned Zoho platform, this software is a tailored solution that reflects your travel industry nomenclature. Starting from lead capturability, and nurturing prospects to self-updating sales pipeline, this CRM has it all – including the different action areas that are particularly crucial for a travel agency.
You can optimize Travel Agency CRM as the data hub of your business. This cloud-based CRM solution centralizes all the captured data so that you can monitor every part of your business on the move. As the head of the company, you can give the user access rights to your marketing and sales departments as per employee hierarchy so that they can align together to achieve bigger goals.
Connecting with anyone and everyone was never this easy before. All because of technology. It has drawn us closer and made us relatable to each other. We manifest relationships in so many ways. When we go deep into understanding how the psychology of relationships works, we realize how we relate ourselves to brands and not just humans. It’s crucial for business after all!
To know more about Travel Agency CRM, schedule a no-obligation 90-minute free consultation with our experts!