We often say that you sell experiences, not just tours and activities. And just as the experience starts with the first click on your website, it lasts long after the tour itself, right up to your follow-up by email and future contact on social media or your blog.
As a result of staying in touch, you might get a repeat booking from a customer, or have your company recommended to one of their friends.
Good news for you: with the right booking software choice, it's easier than ever to stay in touch with your customers. Based on what we've seen, here are five of the best ways to stay in touch with your customers, be it through email, SMS, or otherwise.
1. Send pre- and post-trip SMS notifications
Processing bookings should be just one part of your booking software's repertoire. By choosing a system like TrekkSoft, you have access to a range of additional useful features, such as being able to interact with your guests via text messages.
The Pre-/Post-Trip SMS Notifications feature essentially mirrors the email reminders feature, with the only difference being that it allows you to engage with your guests via text message (handy, huh?)
You might use this feature to send an automated text to your guests the day before the trip to avoid dropouts, or ask them to rate the tour on social media or TripAdvisor. Use cases are limitless and depend solely on your imagination.
For more info you can check out our complete documentation on SMS notifications.
2. Send pre- and post-trip email notifications
Before our SMS notifications feature came along, our email reminder feature was already very much well-loved. After all, it's a key part of our customers' ability to easily stay in touch with their guests pre- and post-trip and provide a more memorable all-round experience.
Our data shows it's worth sending your pre- and post-trip emails
Thousands of pre- and post-trip email reminders are sent using TrekkSoft every month by tour and activity companies, and our stats show it's a worthwhile feature for tour operators to be using: open rates average 35.4%, while click through rate tends to be around 7.6%.
Whether you set up email notifications, SMS reminders, or both, you can choose exactly how you want them to be set up in the TrekkSoft software back-end.
It's also easy to customise the templates of your SMS and email reminders to fit your brand and make the message more personal:
3. Give a reason to follow you on social media
Right from the very first phase of our travel experiences - when we might be researching on Google or browsing Lonely Planet for inspiration - many of us are checking out social media too.
We might look up a destination on Instagram, or check what our friends think on Facebook. And if you're on social media when planning a trip, in all likelihood you're on it during and after as well.
If your customers tend to be on social media, think about how you can use it to stay in touch. Perhaps include your social links in a post-trip email, or mention your Instagram handle during the tour so you can regram their photos.
You could even set up retargeting on Facebook to target ads to people who have previously viewed your website, thus incentivising them to remember you and perhaps like your page.
4. Make an effort to remember something that a customer tells you
Sometimes you come into contact with a customer post-tour. Perhaps they bump into you on another day of their trip, or they come across your Facebook page and send you a message. They might even review you on their travel blog.
When this happens, it's a huge advantage if you can remember something about them. This is especially the case because, in all likelihood, they probably remember quite a bit about you.
I know, there are lots of them and only one of you. You might say you have a bad memory. But remembering a tiny detail that a customer shared with you is incredibly valuable. It shows that you care about your guests, which I'm sure you do.
Respond to their excited greeting with "Hello, [name]! It's great to see you. How was your trip to the [attraction they were excited about visiting after your tour]?"
This will do so much to help you stay in touch post-tour, especially when it comes to them following your social media or mentioning you in their travel photos.
5. Be imaginative and open to the new
Companies in all industries are getting more imaginative when it comes to staying in touch with their fans. In turn, they are opening the door to happy customers becoming brand ambassadors.
For instance, many companies are now active on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, using these messaging apps as platforms for their customers to get quick responses to questions, give feedback, and stay in touch.
Listen out for what apps your customers are using, and ask them how they would want to get in touch with you about a future booking.
- Would it help them if your business is on Messenger, or would it be a bit irrelevant?
- Would they use WhatsApp to check if your cooking workshop is open on a bank holiday?
Be open to the direction in which your customer is going when it comes to staying in touch with a brand they care about.
At TrekkSoft we live and work in the heart of the tour and activity industry. Request a software demo with our team in Interlaken, Switzerland and apply our expertise to your business:
Written by Lucy Fuggle
Lucy is Head of Content Marketing at TrekkSoft. She tries to read a book a week, travel solo every month, and share ideas on lucyfuggle.com. You can usually find her in Switzerland's Berner Oberland.