Given that there are thousands of agencies based in Australia and New Zealand that offer a similar travel products and services, what are you doing that makes your agency unique and doesn’t bore your customers to go elsewhere.
In today’s’ competitive environment long gone are the days when agents can be a travel provider for the whole marketplace. Your agency needs to have a significant difference from that of the competition that sets you apart.
If your agency appears to be just like every other agency or travel business in the industry, then there is very little reason for customers to choose you as opposed to the many competitors.
When competing agencies have no distinguishing benefits to set them apart, when they offer basically the same travel related product or services, the same customer service, etc. then customers will resort to compare on price alone.
Price should not come into the equation until the end when it comes to choosing an agency. Agencies need to distinguish themselves and here is a few ideas how to achieve differentiation.
Focus on a particular niche
Start branding your agency as offering something different whether it be through specialist golf tours, fishing tours, senior travel packages, singles, students, Women, cruises, well being tours etc.
Define your agencies brand as being a specialist in a particular field as it will signal to your customers that you can provide more than just cheap holidays but actual value through the relationships you have with unique suppliers, the experience, expertise, outstanding customer service and support long after the holiday has finished.
Market your expertise
Start finding out what your consultants interests are and market their expertise in particular fields that you wish to differentiate your brand. For example if you are a consultant and you have an interest in motor ports. Then you may want to start putting your expertise on paper and look to offer clients who also have a similar interest specialist travel packages catered for motor sports events, whether it be based in Australia or overseas. Another example may be if a consultant has an interest in classical music or the arts where by once again the consultant puts on paper their experience and offers clients specialist packages to performances in Germany, France, Italy etc.
Offer excellent customer service
When a customer either makes an enquiry over the phone, via the internet or simply walks through your agencies doors with in the first 30 seconds they need to be completely amazed at your agencies drive to make them feel special and appreciated.
The client needs to say ‘wow’ every time they make contact. Find your particular customers needs and offer a service that sets you apart from the competition. Because remember a price shopper is a price shopper until the last agency they go into.
Offer a unique advantage
Be unique in what you offer. It is easy to do just what every other travel agency provides, but at the end of the day, you are not just like every other travel agency. So let your customers know this. For example become a concierge to your clients don’t just book flights and hotels, make reservations at restaurants, reservations to events, have a bottle of champagne waiting in their room on arrival, arrange massages, organise garden and lawn mowing service while they are away, hire a security service to check on their properties, arrange transport, pet services etc. Whatever keeps them coming back to you time after time. Offer the clients value to make their life easier and more enjoyable and charge for the price of doing so.
Offer a guarantee
Because you have differentiated yourself from your competitors make it harder for your clients to not enlist your services through a guarantee. Reverse the risk in your customers mind through a guarantee such as 100% money back guarantee on the service you provide not the product. Your sales will increase by doing so because they are sold on the fact that you have removed the risk and have put it in writing that you will actual do the job required. Very few people will take you up on the refund for your services.
The guarantee ensures that you have a culture which is focused on customer satisfaction. Most customers are good and honest people who just want to get what they paid for. So make it clear that you stand behind the brand that you market.
Take some of these tips on board now and start branding your agency as something different. Make sure in all your marketing that you communicate your branding as a specialist in a particular field of travel on a consistent basis. Remember branding takes time to develop so don’t wait 10 – 12 months for things to go wrong, sales to decline or profits to fall.