The questions travellers pose on their buyer journey – where, what, how much – can confront them with a daunting array of choices to make.
A trusted companion on this journey takes a big burden off the shoulders. Engagement with your client must cover the duration of the customer journey, from dreaming to planning to preparing to travel and post-travel stages.
Providing access to your brand throughout will assure the client of your credibility and reliability, planting seeds for brand loyalty, retention and referrals.
At this stage, your target customer only knows that they want to go somewhere fabulous, do something exciting and adventurous. They will have an idea of the type of holiday they want, whom they will travel with and for how long. They are likely to talk to other travellers or read their online posts, ploughing through the world wide web for ideas. A bit like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Make sure your brand sticks out online, all shiny and hard-to-miss.
Three in four consumers use search.
During their search, beauty grabs their attention and interactive content holds it. They love clicking on links that promise interesting, deeper information because they are a tactile, inquisitive species.
So, why not take them on a little virtual journey? Paint a picture of what they may expect to experience if they choose your product, whether it is accommodation or an activity, a restaurant or spa, train trip or cruise. High-resolution photography, video media and virtual tours can help you coax your audience and cajole them into further investigation.
This tends to be your prospective client’s least favourite and most stressful part of the journey, when they have to make a decision, part with their hard-earned cash and hope they’ve made a good investment. This is the point at which you reassure them that your brand is trustworthy because you’ve provided comprehensive, accurate information about the experience you’re selling and the added value you will provide.
What makes your brand more attractive than other suppliers in your area that offer similar experiences to yours? Content can be a huge selling point and a simple way to differentiate your brand. Information is power; and so, your content empowers travellers. If your future guests want to know about in-destination restaurants, excursions and/or attractions to visit, you should be the one to provide that information.
More than 148.3 million people use the Internet to make reservations for their accommodation, tours and activities, more than 57% of all travel reservations each year!
At this stage, excitement starts taking over from the stress of planning and wondering if they’ve chosen well. Your future guest will rely on your expertise for reassurance to make them feel taken care of. Convenient access to directions to your property, as well as an up-to-date map and contact information will reassure them.
If it’s available in digital format, they can check it 24/7, and if it’s also mobile-responsive, they can check it on their mobile devices too. Additionally, they can share information about their holiday with friends and family to keep track of their whereabouts.
All that’s left to do is anticipate the delectable prospect of travel.
Anything can happen during the time that your guest arrives, stays and departs. There could be life-altering experiences (pat on the back for your part in this!) or there may be some mishaps, but those can turn into interesting memories. Either way, you should be present, available to assist or celebrate.
All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.
Good or bad, they’ll discuss their experience of your brand on social media, they will post selfies and comments that will either make you look good or bad. That’s where you must be to do damage control and address problems as they arise whether you use online messaging or a chatbot service.
You want their raw client feedback anyway, so that you can feed it into your marketing engine for future campaigns.
Once back home, you should reach out to your guest to review your brand, service, product – their entire experience. If it was a good experience, your brand will become instantly more attractive to other travellers.
Invite them to contribute their UGC to your marketing content – converted into digital assets, your happy client can become brand advocate by sharing their happy experiences. Get their permission to use their selfie videos and pics enjoying your property on your website, on your social media pages, and even in your iBrochure gallery.
A happy traveller will return to the scene of the adventure and bring their friends along.
This completes the buyer journey with your brand present at each stage. It’s an investment in your clients, their expectations and desires, their practical concerns and the memories they hope to take from the experience. You are more than a product supplier: you’re companion, trusted guide and granter of travel wishes.
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