It takes less energy to be kind and there’s no better time for it than the start of a year that rhymes with ‘plenty’.
After a long, hard year, we have the luxury of envisioning all sorts of lovely outcomes for the year, even decade, ahead. You get out what you put in. So let’s kick 2020 off with a few acts of kindness at work to set up a positive, prosperous year in travel.
How Kindness in Travel works
Your brand exists not in isolation but as part of a community of travellers, trade partners, colleagues, the planet, and of course, yourself. We always talk business as if all we have in common are profits, commissions, deals, and bums in beds or on seats. But in our ecosystem of products, services and transactions, we should think about how our operations affect each other. What we do and don’t do impact the sustainability of the industry and its ongoing prosperity. For that reason alone, we’d do well to be kinder to each other..
Kinder to the Planet
A long-term view suggests that if we’re not mindful of the impact our conduct and business operations have on the environment, we risk contributing to the demise of the paradise we inhabit. We can’t pretend ignorance amid all the warnings from eco-warriors and conservation movements gaining momentum around us. Even staunch believers that global warming is a cooked-up hoax, can’t argue with a growing demand among travellers for eco-friendly brands. They expect to travel as they live, striving to be kinder to the planet.
- Families want to teach their children about sustainable living and travel.
- Millennials would rather not impact the environment negatively when they travel.
- Bragging rights come from participating in unique conservation experiences.
As concern about their carbon footprint grows, do you do enough to help travellers reduce it?
From operations to marketing and a paper-free world. When you collaborate on product content and publish it online where clients can consume it with minimal environmental impact, you realise how much kinder digital is to the planet. You never have to pollute a single landfill just to promote a special, showcase your property or activity, or expose your products. Travellers are paying attention to your waste. Trade members that have seen the eco-writing on the wall will feel the pressure to conduct their business more sustainably. They will look to do business with like-minded product suppliers to ensure there’s an Earth to travel around in future.
Sustainability is buzzing loudly in mainstream tourism. There’s plenty you can do to offset any potential environmental damage you and your guests inadvertently do. Don’t do it for show; do it because you mean to be kinder. It will earn you the reputation of a responsible travel brand.
Kinder to your Colleagues
All the work that goes into marketing and selling your products probably feels like a lot of repetition.😫You’ve got colleagues who produce content, others prepare it for distribution, and someone is responsible for translating copy into other languages. Then there’s a team that distributes the content through different channels, some working with web developers to get it onto your website. A new special is promoted or something else changes, and the entire process repeats.. That sounds stressful and counter-productive. You could alleviate that stress and pave your route to plenty with a streamlined process.
Empowering everyone to work in one space with one format, is an act of kindness. Put a small team in charge of managing your content and ensure the rest of your team knows where to find what they need when they need it. That should include all updates, translations, specials and documentation. Automatic updates is another kindness that saves everyone having to make manual changes to send to clients they know are sitting with old info.
It can get so hectic at work that one colleague doesn’t know what the other is doing. That’s risky business. Teamwork requires everyone to be on the same page on how to sell the product, what the market is and how to target it. That way no one works at cross purposes or risks misrepresenting the brand.
Kinder to your Trade Partners
If your primary motivation this year is to become and remain first choice and preferred supplier for more tour operators, travel agents and DMCs, seduce them with kindness. What else do they do but connect their clients with your products? They represent opportunities for your products to be sold in channels you can’t otherwise access. Pay it forward with your product content served fresh and up-to-date. In travel, stale content is misinformation.
Kindness… is ensuring the content showcasing your products actually helps them sell tours, and sell more tours.
Once you’ve produced juicy content that best sells the experience you offer, there’s nothing kinder than easy access. Among the host of distribution methods available out there, you may be desperate to hang onto a couple, your trade partners too. That’s okay if your ambition is limited to conquering a tiny little empire.
But you want to expand your reach, right? Enable more potential partners to get their hands on your goodies, from anywhere in the world. Going digital with cloud-based content anyone can access and use in proposals, is a generous start. Life’s easier with instant updates too. Your kindness can save more operators a lot more time sourcing content that sells.
Kinder to your Clients
So much content everywhere, so confusing! Rather than add to the confusion, you can truly help travellers with accurate product content. Comprehensive content that tells the full story of your experience, reassures them they need no other sources. If they spot your products on other websites, it should be the same beautiful, informative content. Ensuring your content is consistent on multiple sites is a small act of kindness that earns your brand their precious trust.
Convenient access on smart phones, tablets or whatever mobile device they use is another kindness. Brownie points if they can browse it whenever and wherever they want to mull over their options, even book or make an enquiry at their leisure. They’ll want some human contact and feel like they’re getting personal attention – a quick response would be kinder. Here’s your competitive edge: manage the entire buying journey and do something extra that other brands don’t.
Kinder to Yourself
Finally, there’s you. The year of 20-plenty should be about abundant returns on your marketing and sales investments. Do yourself a favour if you want to be more productive, less stressed and have more fun with your job: get the content working for you. Laying the groundwork of managing your content and setting up your distribution channels should be simplified to a single process. Then you can spend your time meeting clients, building relationships.
What’s the least fun about those trips to see clients? Lugging around business cards, stacks of catalogues, brochures or pamphlets, and USB sticks, I’d bet, with promises of more content to be emailed upon your return home. Lighten your load and reduce to one format that displays your wares on mobile devices, that’s equally easy to send to prospective clients before and after meetings.
Unlock the plenty
Start your year of plenty by paying it forward with kindness. Ultimately, you serve yourself but not before making a significant, benevolent impact on the different components that constitute your community. Here’s to putting a positive 2020 spin on your prospects and inviting abundance into your business.