There’s a lot of competition in the travel industry, and customers looking to book a tour or activity have a near endless list of options to choose from. So, how can you possibly differentiate yourself to win over potential new customers and keep your current customers coming back for more tours in the future?
We are here to highlight four major tips and tricks that tour operators can implement to help them stand out against the competition, ultimately driving revenue and improving their customer experience.
Tour Operator Tip #1: Go Paperless
Tour operators that are only able to make tour reservations manually are more prone to errors and inefficiencies than those that utilize a paperless tour booking software. Plus, when you must keep track of every reservation by hand, it can quickly become tedious and takes time away from valuable customer engagement. Instead of focusing on making sure your paper records are accurate and up-to-date, let a digital rental software relieve your worries about those repetitive, time-consuming tasks that don’t need a human touch so you focus on driving revenue and building genuine relationships with your customers!
Going paperless can also help you stand out as a tour operator by enabling you to be more flexible and accessible to your customers, even when you aren’t physically on-site. Modern consumers have come to expect immediate gratification and place a heavy emphasis on convenience. So, if you aren’t able to give them what they want quickly and easily, they’ll likely go elsewhere.
With paperless tour booking, you aren’t limited to only booking tours or changing reservations during your business hours. Your customers will be able to go online and book a tour at any time and from any location without having to wait for an available tour operator. Your customers will love the flexibility and convenience that digital, immediate online tour booking provides—and you’ll love the resulting increase in bookings and revenue.
Tour Operator Tip #2: Get Personal
Modern consumers desire personal, one-on-one interaction with the companies they shop from. In fact, 80% of customers are more likely to purchase a product or service from a brand that offers those personalized experiences—and making tour reservations is no exception.
The travel and hospitality industries show some of the largest shift towards personalized email, with marketers in this field tailoring 63% of their communications to individuals rather than mass groups or personas. But as a tour operator dealing with so many customers, employees, and business operations all at one time, how could you possibly find the time to send personalized communications to each of your tour participants?
Personalized automation could be your solution! That’s right—an automated tour booking software can also be highly personal. For example, with INDEXIC’s rental software, you can send automated text messages and/or emails that address each customer by name to confirm their booking, send reminders before the tour, and follow up on their experience afterwards. Your customers also have the unique ability to text you back. This level of personalization can enhance your customer’s experience—all without costing you valuable time, money, and resources that would be required to do it manually.
Tour Operator Tip #3: Engage with Your Customers Before the Tour
A lot of tour operators simply make the reservation, then have no further contact with those customers until they show up on the day of the tour. So, a really simple way for you to stand out as a tour operator is by actually continuing to engage with your tour participants before the actual tour even starts. How? The automated communication features of our tour booking software we just discussed can come into play here, too.
While sending an automated confirmation text that says a simple, “Thanks for booking, see you on XYZ date!” is a good first step, it could be far more engaging. For example, your confirmations could include important information about the tour, such as your cancellation policies, directions, what participants should wear, and any items they should bring along with them. This adds value to the service you’re providing as a tour operator and shows your customers you genuinely want them to be prepared and have a comfortable, fun experience.
Then, as the tour date approaches, you can send another automated (yet personal!) reminder to each participant. This reduces the risk of no-shows or someone showing up at the wrong date or time, which could negatively affect your bottom line. Most importantly, it gives your customers a boost of excitement about their upcoming tour!
Tour Operator Tip #4: Optimize Your Website
Many tour companies, especially small, locally-owned ones, still rely on in-person or over the phone booking for the majority of their bookings. However, in today’s digitally-driven age, you could be missing out on a high volume of revenue if your website isn’t optimized for online tour bookings. In fact, in 2018, 66.7% of all travel accommodations (including tours, equipment rentals, and excursions) were made through direct online bookings. So, if you’re website isn’t visually appealing, easy to navigate, and functional, you could be driving away a whole lot of potential customers.
By implementing chat bots, leveraging SEO, and increasing your conversion rates through enhanced landing pages, you can ensure that customers are finding your site and then engaging with it in a way that drives revenue. You should also have clear navigation and “calls to action” so website visitors know where to find what they’re looking for, especially your online tour booking portal, without having to search through 15 different pages. Remember, your website is essentially the first impression potential customers will get of your business—so use it to provide value and stand out from the competition!
At INDEXIC, we know the tourism industry because we’re tour operators ourselves. This hands on experience gives us valuable insight that our competition simply can’t match—and it shows through our free rental software. It can effectively help your business lower expenses, improve efficiency, and generate more bookings—all without sacrificing the customer experience.
We’re passionate about helping your streamline operations and stand out from the competition in order to see increased success! Contact us today to learn more, or schedule a free demo to see our tour booking software in action for yourself!