Now that COVID-19 vaccines are finding their ways into more and more arms around the world, this is very good news for the various tourism operators who may have had to close or severely reduce their capacities throughout the course of the global pandemic. These operators can now start to plan their re-opening strategies and how they will be welcoming back customers after more than a year.
The need for tourism operators to have a customer engagement strategy in place has not diminished, even though fully vaccinated travelers may be chomping at the bit to scratch their travel itch. This strategy is an important tool that allows for connecting (or re-connecting) with visitors and tourists, letting them know what they can expect when they visit your resort, your amusement park, your museum, etc.
Not convinced that a customer engagement strategy is necessary for your tourist establishment? Check out these benefits, which should hopefully change your mind.
Pique Visitors’ Interest
Why is customer engagement important? Well, first and foremost, engagement helps you start building a relationship with your prospective travelers from the very first point of contact. Many people may submit a form on a website to receive more information and receive a very generic reply with some basic information. However, a successful customer engagement strategy will allow for a more targeted approach to providing this information, by way of contact segmentation and personalization.
When travelers receive the information they requested in an engaging way, their final decision will be all the more easy to make!
Establish Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is vital in the tourism industry. It is important to show prospective visitors what sets you apart from the rest. In order to do this though, a customer engagement strategy must account for the fact that travelers are still deciding where to go and what to do on their vacations and may need a little push in the right direction (yours!).
It is customer engagement best practice to make sure you are always promoting your brand’s core values and benefits throughout the engagement process. This way, prospective travelers have all the information they need to see why your tourism business needs to be a part of their vacation!
Increase Chances of Purchase
While planning out their vacation, travelers will likely sign up for more information about various different tourist locations and attractions in an effort to determine which ones meet their needs and wants. Chances are, the ones that provide them with the most engagement will find their way onto their itineraries.
A customer engagement strategy that allows tourism operators to follow up with traveler enquiries with a series of personalized messages will help boost engagement with these messages and the useful and helpful information found therein.
Stay on Top of the Sales Cycle
The type of engagement travelers need from tourism operators varies depending on where they are in their vacation planning process (the sales cycle). If travelers are still seeking out different locations and attractions and trying to narrow down their list, they will need to be engaged with differently than they would if they are already ready to book. A customer engagement strategy should detail how to engage with customers in all stages of the sales cycle and should allow for the targeted sending of messages based on how close to booking the customer is.
Scoring travelers is a way to determine where travelers are in this cycle. Every time a traveler interacts with a message that is sent to them, their score will increase, providing an indication of how close they are to the booking stage of the cycle. When travelers are close to having a high enough score, you may start further targeting your messaging to them, sharing discounts or preferred rates that are available only for a limited time.
Provide Upselling Opportunities
Once travelers are finally ready to book their vacation accommodations and activities, tourism operators now have the opportunity to upsell them. Whether this be offering a deal on a more luxurious suite or bundling together a variety of excursion options travelers may enjoy, having a customer engagement strategy can help determine what additional services these travelers will be most likely jump at.
If an engagement strategy has been in place since the very first interaction travelers had with a tourism operator, the operator will have all the information it needs on the interests and preferences of each prospective traveler and can easily use this to upsell them. When travelers receive personalized offers and promotions, this increases not only their motivation to book with the tourism business, but the trust that they have in the respective company’s brand.
Automate Your Customer Engagement Strategy
Now that we know why having a customer engagement strategy for your tourism business is so beneficial, let’s be real. There are a lot of moving parts that need to be managed if this strategy is going to be successful. How can tourism operators easily engage with prospective travelers without having to keep track of them manually one by one?
Lucky for you, SimplyCast has developed a way to automate the entire customer engagement process using its 360 automation tool and CRM, which means that once the solution is set up and you provide the necessary messaging content, you won’t have to worry about a thing! This customer engagement solution can allow to you easily target travelers no matter where they are in the sales cycle, automatically using information collected from their interactions with previous messages to determine what to send to them next to increase the possibility of a vacation being booked.
What’s more, if tourism operators need to revamp their existing customer engagement strategy (in order to align with the new rules and restrictions put into place post-COVID-19, for example), with automation it can be as simple as changing the content of your targeted messaging to include the new information or modified set of offerings.
To see how your tourism business can benefit from automating your customer engagement strategy and how SimplyCast can help, click the button below to request a one-on-one demo!