Opportunities to expand your agency’s business are all around you, but spotting opportunities and doing something with them are two different things. First of all, you must accept that you can’t be all things to all people.
The marketing law known as the 80/20 Rule, which says that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers, will help you establish firm footing. How do you know if this rule describes your current situation?
Ask yourself this question: Which customers are responsible for contributing the most to my agencies bottom-line?
Although this exercise, at first, may appear elementary, it is designed to shed some light on the very important relationship you have with your clients.
If your company is like the majority of firms today, you will have isolated a group of customers who deliver the lions share of your annual business. In most cases, this group makes up only 20% of your entire customer list.
With this knowledge you are now in position to implement a customer service strategy that more closely fits with the growing demands placed on your time.
I suggest that you begin your new marketing campaign by contacting each customer on this newly produced hot list to acknowledge their valuable contribution to your business’s success. In other words, call each one of the 20% to say ‘thank you’.
When you have the clients on the phone, ask them if they would mind answering a few of your questions. (It’s always a good idea to ask permission before doing this. It makes the exchange more personal and generates a more meaningful dialogue.)
Your questions should sound something like this:
- What is it that you like or dislike about doing business with our agency?
- Of all the travel agencies available in the immediate area, why did you select ours to handle your business?
Make sure to ask these questions at a time when you are able to pay full attention to the answers. I suggest that you take notes and ask for repeated clarification.
Your mission is to get to the heart of what you’re VIP customers really feel about you and your organization. Be prepared. What you hear may sting a bit.
How they answer these questions, and the way you react to them, determine whether you will be around to be asked the same questions again next year.
Try as you might, you can’t be all things to all people in today’s highly competitive environment. Your customers are too knowledgeable, too smart, and too demanding.
Your success will only come as result of a highly focused and consistently delivered customer-oriented effort.
When you have developed faith in the 80/20 Rule, you will know exactly where and to whom your agencies resources should be directed.
Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.