Putting together the trip of a lifetime can be a meaningful endeavour... so shouldn’t each phase of planning be given a personal touch?
According to statistics, 80% of today’s clients expect their retail experience to come with some level of personalisation. It’s not difficult to understand why: in an era where we’re all bombarded with generic advertisements, it’s easy to become irritated or even desensitized to commercialism. But while makeup, video games and expensive clothing could each be considered invaluable commodities – things that we may or may not need – it is arguable that travel is something far more significant.
For many, tourism is a need; an intrinsic part of what it means to be human. Whether breaking up a stressful year with a beach holiday or saving for years for that trip of a lifetime, it’s clear that travel is a major part of who we are. Given that tourism is vastly important to so many people, it’s easy to see how travelers could become irked by less-than-meaningful communications between themselves and their chosen travel provider. This issue can rear its head at any stage of a holiday: from impersonal service aboard a flight to disengaged hotel staff, the last thing any tourist needs (especially after having spent a small fortune on their trip!) is to feel as if their booking was inconsequential; that it wouldn’t have mattered if they’d have simply stayed at home, saving their hard-earned cash for another rainy day.
The reality is, the traveler’s experience starts with you, their agent. You are the first step on their journey towards an unforgettable experience – but wouldn’t it be wonderful if their time with you could be just as memorable as the rest of their holiday? Read on to discover how you can level-up your customer relationships and secure their business with The Compass.
An addition to commercial acumen, one of the main skills needed to be a travel agent is a high level of empathy. This means developing a clear idea of your client’s needs: the type of holiday they’re looking for, when they’re hoping to travel, and how best to communicate their most suitable options.
With The Compass, you’re able to translate this knowledge into potential booking options by selecting filters relevant to the client: international versus domestic travel, sun and beach versus city breaks, last-minute getaways versus extensive lead time and so forth. But did you know that you’re also able to build marketing materials within The Compass tailored entirely to your client’s requirements? The Compass’ share functionality seamlessly builds flyers fit for distribution, with just a few clicks. When plotting your communication strategy for any client, consider how best they’re going to receive information from you, and under which circumstances.
Are they the type who are always on the go with barely a moment spare to read through booking options? Or are they somebody who would prefer to pore over more in-depth hotel descriptions? This phase of planning is going to play a valuable role in your relationship with the client, as not only should you hope to delight them with your service, but you want to secure the booking – and should aim to become their go-to travel agent for all future trips.
Listen – we understand that a travel agent’s value is often found in the unique knowledge they’ve earned through adventures of their own. But, as much as there is a place for your individual expertise (and there always will be), trusting in artificial intelligence is certain to elevate your worth as a well-rounded travel provider.
The Compass is loaded with real-time data and insights which will give you a clear idea of what today’s travelers are actually booking: by utilizing this live global data, you’ll gain instant access to the destinations which are trending right now and up to 9+ months into the future. The speed of this artificially intelligent data being presented is of a major benefit to agents, with Gregory and Sonia from TUI France Thionville describing The Compass as ‘very easy, intuitive and clear’, while Teresa Godoy Rodriguez goes a step further with her testimonial: ‘I used to have to go to every hotel and do 20,000 searches and now I have it concentrated in one place. The tool makes it very easy for me.’
Depending on the information you’ve already gleaned from your client, you have the ability to amend The Compass’ filters in order to bring up the most relevant data relating to the customer. Say, for example, you know that your customer is planning to travel from the United States to somewhere in Europe within the next three months. By adjusting the filters, you’ll be able to see the top choices of destinations and hotels they might like – which leads us onto our next step.
Now that you know which destinations are popular (and where your client is most excited to travel!), it’s time to create your personalised marketing materials.
With The Compass open on your webpage, look out for the sharing option (the blue button which says ‘Create Your Flyer’). We’d suggest filtering the hotels out further by traveller type, star rating and trip advisor rating, keeping an eye out for any hotels marked with the ‘Safe2Stay’ badge (these are the hotels which have shared their health and safety protocols with us). Press the button and select up to eight fantastic hotels you think your client will love – if we’re to give a top tip, Once you’ve settled on your top picks, you’ll notice that the blue button now prompts you to download or share the hotels. Go ahead and press it!
You’ll now be asked to select a format: portrait or landscape? The landscape format offers a little extra information about each hotel, while the portrait option is great for making quick comparisons between lead photos and key pieces of information, such as price. Once you’ve decided which your client would prefer, click the option and move on through to the next stage.
At this point, you’ll be encouraged to add your logo to the marketing materials. That’s right – you’re able to personalise the flyer to suit your business, as well as to your client’s needs! Independent and home-based travel agents will particularly benefit from this feature: we know how costly and time-consuming marketing can be, but with The Compass it’s easy and free to make your mark with swiftly-applied branding.
Next, you’ll be asked if you’d like to customise your content. This is a brilliant way to personalise your marketing materials to a specific client, and we’d recommend adding the client’s name to the header to let them know that these choices are far from generic – in fact, they were carefully chosen by you, their number-one travel agent.
Gestures like this can have an amazing impact on your relationship with any would-be customers, with up to 72% of consumers electing to respond only to personalised marketing messages, so be sure to think back to step one and tailor your headings accordingly. After taking one last look at your selected hotels (and reshuffling their order/hiding the cost, if you wish), it’s time for you to distribute your marketing materials to the client. You can either download a PDF/image version of the flyer or share it straight to WhatsApp – whichever your client’s preferred method of receiving the information may be, The Compass has got you covered.