How do you decide how much technology you should use? Or am I forgetting the human touch factor of selling travel? How do you know what your current clients prefer? What is the best way to reach new, potential clients? In other words, what is really the best way to reach all my clients?
These are all the questions I have been wrestling with lately. Every trade magazine you pick up reminds you to embrace technology. Most likely there will be an article or two on the latest and greatest way to have a high-tech touch. We compete with the Internet and compete with each other; always attempting to be ‘one up’. It is a constant struggle. You may remember that I have a ‘text club’ for my bridal leads. I advertise it at all my bridal shows, and it has its own Facebook page. It has been a successful way to reach brides. I am ready to expand that program to my current client base, and I am hesitating: is this how my current clients want to be reached? Is this how they need to be reached? Is this how they should be reached?
Like many of you, I am a very small agency. I have built my customer list through the years by offering personalized service. I faithfully sent thank you cards, welcome home cards, birthday cards, wedding cards, and anniversary cards. I have had a “Gratitude Grill” for my customers, serving food and drinks, just to drive home how much I appreciate having the opportunity to assist with their vacation plans. Are these clients interested in getting specials sent to their cell phone? Do they prefer emails? Phone calls? Direct mail? How do I know?
I have wasted hours of my time debating this question. Then, the light bulb came on; it came on brilliantly bright. The answer was so simple. What do you do when you need an answer to your question? YOU ASK. Ask your clients what they want. Wow, earth shattering, isn’t it?
I have short, five question survey being emailed to my customers this week, asking how they want to hear from me. I am giving a small reward for those who respond. In my next column, I will let you all know the answer to the question that I took the time to ask.
Amy Hobbins, MCC, CTA, is a 20 plus year industry veteran. She has managed both the corporate and leisure side of a full service retail agency, as well as teaching evenings at a travel school. She is the owner of Journeys Unlimited Travel, with an emphasis on destination weddings and the honeymoon market. Journeys Unlimited Travel is known for its full “travel concierge” services available to their clients.