If someone asked you about the service your business provides, what would you tell them? Would you say you provide walking tours? Or maybe you’d say you organize mountain biking tours through the Rocky Mountains.
If these were your answers, chances are you’d be selling yourself short.
When you think about it, you actually offer lots of services, and many of these are for free. Each of these add extra value to your product. If you’re not offering them, now’s the time to start, with your confirmation email being the best place to offer them.
Here are eight add-ons you can offer on top of your flagship product: for free.
1. Create travel guides and other content
Prior to welcoming customers to your destination, you have no idea whether or not they’ve been there or not. This means they don’t know where’s good to stay, what are the insider tips, where you’ll find the best burgers, or what bars are the liveliest… but you do.
Create a branded travel guide for your customers that you give away as part of your product. This will subsequently help with customer retention, as customers will be more likely to use your business again, and will also help customer acquisition as once your guide is good, people will spread the word about it.
Complement this travel guide by having a company blog. Not only will it be something else you can say you offer, it will also help with your SEO, the content will position you as an authorative voice… the list goes on.
Read more about why your tour or activity should have a company blog in our dedicated blog post, or improve your writing skills with our ebook:
2. Build a mailing list and send out newsletters
You’d think that a newsletter is something that would automatically be given away for free, but you’d be mistaken. Make sure to make the most of email by signing up to a free ESP (Email Service Provider) such as MailChimp, start collecting email addresses and start sending them out. They’ll drive traffic and increase bookings.
3. Offer SMS booking confirmation
In a day when everybody has a mobile phone of some description, you should offer as much mobile-friendly content as possible. A mobile friendly booking solution should be one of them, as should an SMS booking confirmation.
4. Be known for your customer service
Customer service is as important a product as your actual tour or activity. If you run the best scuba diving school in the world but you’ve got unfriendly instructors, people won’t remember the quality of your school – the memory of teachers they can’t warm to will linger in their minds instead.
Making your customers happy is key. Offering them timely customer service is a luxury. This is why investing in a service such as LiveChat adds an enormous amount of value to your booking. That’s why we use it!
5. Have a web backend where you an edit your bookings
Not every tour operator offers a backend system where you can view or edit your bookings. Because of this you need to contact then directly to cancel or change your booking which is very time consuming.
By using our booking system, you can offer your customers a backend where they can manage their bookings at no extra cost.
6. Consider providing transfers
Some tour and activity companies are located in more rural areas, leaving them difficult to access. This is where complimentary transfers are very valuable. If it’s something you’re not already offering, look at the cost involved and think about setting it up.
7. Order merchandise to give away after tours
People love to show other people they’ve travelled. If they don’t go to the effort of babbling on about it to their friends, they like to show it visually in some way, shape or form. This is where merchandise comes in.
T-shirts, stickers, bottle openers and pens are just some of the things you could give away for free on your tours. Every time you give one away you’re creating another advertiser somewhere.
8. Provide customers with digital photos / videos
Another way people love to boast about their travels is via the internet… social media in particular. Take loads of photos (maybe even a video), brand them with your logo and then tell your customers to go to your Facebook page to get them. Once they share them, your brand is being brought to the masses, thus increasing exposure and subsequent bookings.
Do you give any add-ons away for free on your tours or activities?
Are you interested in growing your business with an integrated and streamlined booking system?
Written by Colm Hanratty
Colm is Founder and Managing Director of digital marketing agency Sixtwo Digital. After running Hostelworld.com’s content and social media for almost 11 years he felt it was time to branch out on his own, using all his experience to educate others in the travel space.