Part of making sure each of your customers remains loyal is about making them feel valued, even after their transaction is complete. As a customer, the feeling of getting service above and beyond what was expected is often what makes a one off purchaser become a lifelong brand advocate.
Engaging with your customers doesn’t stop when the trip or retreat is finished. Attracting more customers to your travel company or yoga business isn’t just about gaining new customers, it’s also about engaging with the ones you already have and giving them a feeling of being valued.
One of the most important things you can do for your business and your future bookings is to find ways to engage with your customers after they’re back at home. They already know you have something to offer, and they’ve (hopefully) had an amazing experience with your business. Now you just need to get them to come back, and bring their friends!
So we’ve come up with five ways to get you started…
Send a thank you
This may seem an obvious start but you would be amazed how many companies don’t do it! People like to be acknowledged, and a thank you note is a lovely idea. Send it soon after the trip or retreat has ended to have the most impact. The only thing is, they can often get lost amongst all the other correspondence we receive on a daily basis.
Offering a thank you item in addition or instead will help you to make a bigger impact. It’s up to you whether you want to go with a branded everyday item like a keychain or pen, or something else relevant to your industry. Cotten or canvas bags are cheap to make and a lot of people use them as shopping bags or to carry gear around, which make them the perfect way to advertise your brand.
How ever you chose to say thank you make sure it is heartfelt and personal if it looks like a spam email then the value is lost.
It’s always good to ask for feedback from your customers so that you can get an idea of what to work on in the future. You can ask your customers to complete a survey right when they leave, or when they get home. If you offer an incentive like an extra discount, or even the chance to win something then you may have more luck with replies. Having said that, some people do like to stay anonymous so give them the option!
Try to keep feedback questions short and simple. Short and sweet is key to gaining more responses. No one wants to fit out pages of open ended questions! Multiple choice works well with a set of questions that will help you improve on what you do. Remember to thank anyone that takes the time to give you feedback!
Offer discounts for the future
Offering discounts for future trips and retreats are a great way to entice your customers to come back for another adventure. You can send these as part of a thank you, or make them known throughout the yoga retreat or trip. Make sure what ever is offered is suitable and of value to the person you’re reaching out to. Offering something that is of no use is counter productive to what you’re trying to achieve and will make it look like you don’t know who you’re reaching out to.
Broaden the reach of your community by including the option for your customers to offer the incentives to their own network of family, friends, and colleagues. You can offer discounts for bringing along a friend, with extra acknowledgment for the customer who does so, or even if a friend signs up on their own!
Utilize Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool in your travel business or yoga retreat marketing, this should come as no surprise at all. You should be posting your own pictures on Instagram or using Facebook to share about the success of the trip at the very least. However, the entire purpose of social media is engagement, so utilizing social media is key to engaging with your customers before, during, and after the end of the trip or retreat.
Encourage sharing and conversation on your social media. Ask them what they enjoyed the most, and to share photos or stories of the trip. You could even have a particular hashtag or a competition that further helps with engagement.
Platforms like Facebook and Tripadvisor also have the potential for reviews. If someone takes the time to leave a review make sure you respond. If it’s good feedback then thank them for their time in a personal way. If it’s bad, respond professionally and politely answering any questions raised, not just for the customer who isn’t completely happy but also for all your new customers who may be reading those reviews.
Giveaways and surprises
Keep in touch with your customers using email marketing techniques. If you have a record of the date of birth of your customers and they have consented to receive correspondence then you could send a birthday message. This doesn’t have to come with an offer it could just be a nice way to touch base or the same to everyone during the holiday season.
There’s a fine line to travel here, as too many emails and you’ll find yourself in the junk folder. Try to imagine what you would like to receive and what you would find welcoming. Not every correspondence has to have a sales element, making people respect and value your brand is just as valuable to your business. Word of mouth is still the best way to hear about a company, what made you recommend a company to your family or friends?
The above are just a start, the important thing to remember is to make sure however you choose to engage with your customers it should suit them, not you. You know your customers better than anyone so only you can say the best way to make sure they become brand advocates for you.
Check out our Free Resources for more help in planning and marketing your travel company, group trip, or yoga retreat business!