Growing your tour operator business is hard work. Really hard work. But there are tips and tricks that can help your business grow that you may not have considered. Let’s transform your tour business with 4 tips you can steal right now!
1. Content Marketing
Content marketing is all about creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to your target audience. If you’re not doing it, you should. It’s an easy way to get the word out about your business without spending a fortune.
What is Content?
Content includes things like social media posts, blogs, videos, e-books, etc.
For example, you can post popular trip itineraries, share an amazing video of a destination, or write a blog about a ‘must-do’ attraction. Think about writing an e-book about the benefits of group travel or the perfect packing list!
Ultimately, your content should be engaging enough to turn a potential client into a paying client!
2. Customer Reviews (The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly)
One of the best (and simplest) things you can do for your business is to ask for reviews. 72% of consumers say that positive reviews foster trust in a business. Data also suggests that customers are likely to spend 31% more money on a business with excellent reviews.
Ask your clients to share their great feedback about your amazing trips. They can submit a quote for your website, post on social media, or rate you on Trip Advisor.
Google reviews are an excellent way to improve your local visibility online. More reviews = a better Google search rating!
Sidenote – be sure your Google Business Profile is current for even better results.
The Bad (and Sometimes Ugly)
Unfortunately, not all feedback is positive. Every business owner is subject to the occasional bad review, stressful phone call, or negative post.
But if you stay on top of it, you can spin that negativity into something good. Listen to your customers and empathize with their concerns.
Take detailed notes about the issue and address it immediately. Then find a solution that makes sense for all involved. Finally, follow up to be sure your customers are happy with the resolution.
Say You’re Sorry
If you must issue an apology, be sincere and straightforward. We all appreciate when someone owns up to a mistake (and we’re usually more forgiving when they do!)
3. Upgrade Your Ops
Tour operators – it’s time to get your heads in the cloud.
Only 53% of tour operators planning multi-day trips use some “dedicated technology platform for their tour core business.” The rest use a mishmash of CRMs, email, Excel, or even file drawers to manage operations.
For many of us, this is how business is done. It always has been. However, the world is rapidly changing, and our businesses must keep pace.
That’s Where the Cloud Comes In
Current technology allows tour planners to maximize efficiency through cloud-based software and service.
Using cloud-based technology allows you to structure your business in a way that benefits you, your customers, and your bottom line
- increased productivity
- online payments and registration
- fast and efficient
- easy access to documents and itineraries
Moving to a cloud-based planning platform is one of the simplest ways to make your group travel business more effective.
4. Online Registration and Payment
Even if you don’t upgrade all of your operations technology, at least consider moving to an online registration and payment platform. It’s one of the most efficient updates you can make to your tour planning business.
Simply put, business is now done 24-7. Customers want the flexibility to book and pay any time of day or night. Gen Z and most Millennials have probably never written a check. They aren’t going to drop one in the mail to you to hold their spots on your trip.
Using an online registration and payment system allows you to
- automatically notify travelers when payments are due
- collect important documents and medical forms in one place
- keep efficient customer records for future use
- communicate your cancellation and refund policies
- offer travel protection
If you can’t afford to invest in your own payment portal, try partnering with a company like Group Experience. For a very reasonable rate, you can post your trip, collect registrations, and take payments online.
Transform Your Tour Business
Content marketing, customer reviews, upgraded ops, and online registration and payment platforms are 4 ways to transform your tour business.
Give them a try and take your sales to the next level!