Does your customer journey stages need attention? Here is a short story from Dave Pope that might help.

It’s true, people are still going on holiday. But these days’ customers have a lot more choice about where to book their well earned break. Will holiday-selfiethey book online and maybe save a few quid, trot down to their local travel agent for some brochures or call one of many travel call centres?

And if you are a travel agent type person working from home, in a shop or a call centre, why would someone book a holiday with you? And I mean YOU not your company.

What is special about the service you offer and what are you going to do TODAY to make a difference? What strategies and techniques have you created, trialled and changed to boost conversion, profitability and repeat business? Have you ever thought about how your customer could become an ambassador for you and your company?

Look at yourself as a travel consultant. In other words, someone that gives professional advice not simply an order taker or information giver. The role of a travel consultant is to advise, recommend, suggest and encourage. And that includes customers like me who are fussy, unspecific and needy.

One of the phrases I still hear frequently on my travels around the travel industry is the phrase “Are you looking to book today? “Yes, right up at the beginning of an enquiry before exchanging names or even attempting to build a relationship or show interest in what the customer wants. This type of approach is old school “cherry picking “and has no place in the industry which has and should have moved on.

As a customer I want you to establish my needs because I really don’t know what I want. I want you to tear down my barriers or preconceptions and build my desire. I want you to demonstrate some product knowledge, use a range of subtle influencing skills and ask me if I want to book at the right time within the sales process. And if I’m not ready to book there and then I want you to agree a suitable time for us to speak again when I have discussed it with my wife.  Then and only then, I might be ready to commit to you because you will have earned it. And maybe, just maybe I might pay a little more than expected because I am comfortable with the person I am dealing with.

And the time will come for me to actually go on my holiday and I will really appreciate the advice you gave me about the meet and greet car parking at the airport, the speedy boarding and the private transfer on arrival. The sea view balcony room upgrade finally makes me feel like I am on holiday, and RELAX!

But everything good comes to an end and its time to fly home and back to reality. But, the private transfer and meet and greet car parking make that reluctant journey home a little more bearable.A week passes after the holiday and the black rain clouds still remain over our heads and the clear blue sky and outdoor living but a distant memory. But then something wonderful happens: Good morning Mr Jackson, it’s Michael here from Pope World Travel, how was your holiday?  Well I must say I wasn’t expecting that but we had a really good chat about the holiday and it lifted my spirits somewhat, helping me look forward to our next trip.  And Michael is giving me a call in a month or so to help us book it up. I love Michael!

So is this a reality or just a dream?  Planning your customer journey stages and delivering to tis plan is essential for repeat business without which your business will fail. If you would like us to help map your customer journey then please get in touch at dave@statusfour.com

 

Customer Journey Stages by Dave Pope
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