For tourism businesses, many opportunities stem from the very first booking made by a customer. These include the opportunity
- to create happy customers who spread positive word of mouth and repeat book
- to encourage more frequent and longer stays by raising awareness of things to do within destinations and across seasons
- to encourage the customer to purchase higher priced premium products
- to maximise sales through upselling additional products and services
- to connect with the customer post their stay or visit in a way that can contribute to future revenue generation
While there is real potential to generate revenues from customers that is crucial for profitability, the tourism business must strongly place its focus on putting the customer first with the primary aim of achieving increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. A visible need to take money from customers is off putting and can be detrimental to revenue generation.
Of course, all sales begin with the product and for the first and subsequent bookings to be achieved, the product must be presented with absolute clarity across all available categories including standard, premium and upsell product offerings. For effective sales, each product must have a clear description, strong imagery that reinforces the offering, a clear price tag and clear price inclusions. Once the product is in order, the tourism business can focus on attracting diverse customer segments from diverse markets that represent a strong match for the offering.
As the opportunity to maximise revenue begins when the customer purchases their very first product via their very first booking, this document explores the various phases in the booking process that present the tourism business with opportunities to sell from pre booking to post stay.
These are addressed across the following 6 key phases under the title Getting the Customer Through the Door:
- Phase 1: Awareness
- Phase 2: Motivation
- Phase 3: Making the Initial Booking
- Phase 4: Upsell opportunities pre, during and post stay/visit
- Phase 5: Post holiday sales opportunities
- Phase 6: The repeat booker
Once the customer is on site, the tourism business must focus on the provision of excellent customer service that delivers high satisfaction rates. In this way, the business can more easily achieve phase 6 which addresses key tips for turning a first-time booker into a repeat booker post their stay or visit.
As the cycle of first bookers and repeat bookers begins to flow for the tourism business, a more manageable, consistent and profitable revenue generation model can be achieved.
The Steps for Getting Customers Through the Door
Throughout the booking process, the customer passes through a number of phases as highlighted in the chart below. Each phase presents the tourism business with a fresh opportunity to engage with the customer and generate sales.