Clients have short memories. That includes the client who has just returned home from the trip you arranged on their behalf. Unless you find a way to stay “top of mind”, clients can easily be distracted by the next pretty travel opportunity that walks their way. With every newspaper travel section, television commercials and consumer magazines filled with travel advertising, your clients will see lots of different avenues to fulfill their travel desires. You want them to think of you when they think of travel, but until you have them properly trained, it is easy for them to be distracted elsewhere.
But how, and how often, do you speak with your clients? Every month? Quarterly? When they contact you? Best practices would indicate that for you to provide the best possible service to your clients, you should initiate and maintain the vast majority of your correspondence with them. Maintaining contact with your clients allows you to retain the mind-share necessary to stay on top of their travel planning and to be the first person to whom they turn when a need arises. Once we have obtained permission to market to a client, doing so requires very little financial expenditure.
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Is it possible to speak with our clients too frequently? Without a doubt, it is, and many travel consultants rightly are concerned about over-exposing themselves to their clients. The best solution is to maintain contact in a variety of ways, and on a relatively predictable schedule. Your agency’s newsletter is a good way to maintain contact without being obtrusive, as are permission-based travel specials sent to the client when they have expressed an interest in a particular destination or type of travel. Likewise, birthday and anniversary cards are thoughtful reminders of your availability for getaways for special occasions. Welcome-home cards are a must. This is where a good CRM program is important to your practice.
Develop a system for maintaining client contact on a regular basis, and built around the clients travels, your work on their behalf and their return home. Providing your client with thoughtful and helpful communications is a sure way to keep your services in front of them on a continual basis.