Loosely defined, your points of contact are those points at which a client can form an impression of your travel practice. Points of contact range from logos and business cards, to your presentation formats, your manner of dress and even the places where you meet with clients. The sum total of our points of contact add up to form our brand image. The more professional our image, the more confidence clients have when it comes time to turn thousands of hard earned dollars over to us for their vacation. Needless to say, therefore, our points of contact must be kept in top condition. The reality, however, is we often create our points of contact independently of our mission statement and any guiding touch point and each becomes a separate marketing tool unrelated to the others or neglected after months of use.
Evaluation of your points of contact forces us to take a hard, honest look at ourselves. To project a professional image, you must use professional tools. Too many agents use logos that look like clip art and free consumer email addresses. No doubt it is cheaper to do it yourself than to hire a professional, but a “do-it-yourself” message is not one that agents want to impart to their clients. An email address that ends in “aol” is a message that says “consumer”. The “free” email often has an advertisment in it for some third party company. An email coming from an AOL, Yahoo, or (shudder) “Hotmail” address is not professional. Likewise, it is a smart move to have a professional design your logo. Clip art invariably looks like clip art. You can amortize the investment you will make in quality materials over the entire life of your business, an investment well-made. A good professional artist will design graphics that can move from your business card to your stationary to your website.
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Every point of client contact is important. The impression clients have of your brand is the cumulative effect of every point where the public comes into contact with your company. Here is where you have the greatest control over your brand. Every post you make, every time you are seen in public, each and every customer service effort, is another brick in the wall. Continual maintenance and forethought are necessary to crafting the brand you hope to project.