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While travel plans have slowed due to COVID-19, it’s important to stay in touch with clients so when things get back to normal, you’re the first person they call. By maintaining touches with your clients you can stay at the front of their mind, and reassure them with your expertise on all things travel related.
Clients may be stuck at home for now, but when they’re able, your clients will want to get back out into the world. You can leverage this time at home to get clients dreaming about the next getaway, and providing them with updates on travel policies to reassure them that you will always be the professional they can turn to.
Email marketing is a great way to maintain your relationship with your clients. With clients stuck at home and limiting travel in the future, you can use email marketing to stay in front of your clients. By sending out email campaigns you can get clients to start thinking about where they want to go when restrictions are lifted.
You can also use email marketing to create a mental oasis for clients who might be getting a little stir-crazy. Consider including fun stories or favorite travel locations to help remind clients of trips they’ve booked with you in the past, and to get them thinking about that dream vacation destination.
You can also turn email marketing into a more interactive experience by including pictures of exotic locations to see if your clients can guess where the picture was taken, and offering rewards for those who guess correctly. Adding a little levity and fun to your emails can help lighten the mood, while also exposing clients to new vacation destinations.
You can stay in front of your clients on social media with regular posts, but many social media platforms also offer options for video and live interactions. Now is a great time to leverage that capability to get in front of current clients, and to reach out to potential clients.
You can use Facebook live or other tools to create a live Q&A session to alleviate questions about travel, and show your audience that you are the professional they should book with. As Caroline Joyner of Not Just Travel explains,
Secondly I would be publishing lots of “escapism” blogs about destinations to inspire people and also daily inspirational facebook posts to keep my audience hot.
Thirdly I would be doing Facebook live Travel Clinics where people can ask questions about any holiday booked – not just through me.”
Your clients aren’t the only ones with questions about travel, and by offering a live Q&A session you can offer your expertise to a broader base. That exposure can help show potential clients why it’s important to book with a professional, and you can reassure clients that you’re staying abreast of ongoing changes related to travel and travel safety.
While many clients may have been forced to cancel trips, that doesn’t mean that their desire to make that trip has gone away. As travel restrictions are slowly lifted, clients are likely to consider re-booking their trip and determining what new timeline will work for that dream vacation.
You can stay in front of those bookings by setting your follow up reminders now, both to stay on top of refunds and credits from the cancelled trip, and to make sure you reach out as soon as possible to get your clients booking again.
You may also have clients with trips in the future that haven’t been canceled yet, and they’ll still need to make upcoming payments. It’s important to keep close track of those dates and keep an eye on restrictions and cancellation policies as their travel dates approach.
Reminders are important for staying on top of important dates, and can help you make sure you’re the one reaching out to clients so they never feel lost in the shuffle. You can also include details about any cancellation promotions in your reminders, so when the time comes for your clients to rebook, you have the details about what they’re getting at hand.
The travel industry has experienced a lot of changes recently, and as a result many travel businesses are changing policies related to rebooking and cancellations. By staying on top of these changes you can remind your clients of your expertise, and help them take advantage of special deals available now.
Harry Roscoe with Travel with Harry recommends proactively rebooking cancelled trips at a discount:
For example, I have a group going to the Mediterranean in October. I have booked the same cruise as a group in May as a back up. We have up to 30 days prior to the cruise to cancel in October. If we cancel the cruise line is going to give us 125% future cruise credit. It almost benefits my passengers if this gets canceled and we rebook it on the May sailing.”
Clients may be a little hesitant to book, but by sharing great options under new terms and offering clear back-up plans you can help get clients back out in the world. Your knowledge of the intricate details of cancellation and rebooking policies will solidify your position as the only professional they want to work with.
With travel plans temporarily on hold, take this time to revamp your marketing efforts and stay in front of clients. By providing mental vacation emails, live Q&A sessions, and following up as new policies and deals become available, you can prime your clients to book as restrictions are lifted.
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