vi. Repeat Customer
As a happy customer is most likely to return, it makes sense for a tourism business to invest in staff training, customer care and operational excellence.
Nonetheless, even in the best managed businesses, sometimes things go wrong. In these cases, the business must aim to resolve any issues promptly and professionally. In fact, an issue that is well managed can often serve to increase the customer’s appreciation and trust in the tourism business. For similar reasons, it is most important that the tourism business creates a positive impression by responding to all offline and online guest reviews.
Many tourism businesses assume that the domestic market is most likely to achieve repeat customers. While this is true, it is worth noting that Tourism Ireland data shows that destination Ireland has a high propensity for repeat customers across global markets. In fact, on average more than one third of global customers to Ireland make a repeat visit.
Domestic and global customers offer repeat customer potential.
This highlights the importance of knowing the customer’s country of origin and how likely they are to make a future visit. Data collection plays a crucial role in recording this information.
For example, GDPR compliant customer data for a Northern Ireland (NI) or Republic of Ireland (ROI) customer can be recorded via the following fields
- first name
- destination: NI/ROI
- special interests (e.g. golf, art, music etc)
By gathering data in this way, the tourism business will know
- the number of bookings within each county
- which customers are highly valuable loyal repeat customers
- which counties are successful in generating customers and which ones require targeted sales and marketing to generate more
- revenue growth or declines within counties or across destinations. Thereby, prompting remedies to address same
- how to create targeted customer communications based on specific preferences and interests
Global customers can be profiled in a similar way and once the tourism business has this data, it can create compelling communications to engage with the customer and encourage them to repeat book. The more efficiently the tourism business collects data, the more effectively it can communicate with its customers and thereby generate future bookings.
Efficient data collection is essential for effective customer communications that generate bookings.
In today’s world most communication with customers happens via online sales channels. For example, a tourism business might issue a monthly ezine.
To really win over customers, the tourism business should also bear in mind the power of the personal touch. For example, a high repeat and valued customer may appreciate a personal call from the tourism business manager or a hand-written note during their visit/stay or on important occasions like Christmas time. In this way, the tourism business treats the customer as a member of their special family or club and thereby wins their appreciation and loyalty.
A tourism business should treat customers with repeat customer potential like a member of their family or club.
It is most important for the tourism business to avoid bombarding the customer with excessive communications. This will only serve to damage the relationship between the tourism business and customer. It may even cause the customer to stop engagement entirely by unsubscribing from communications. In this case, the opportunity for building customer relationships and generating repeat bookings is lost.
Given that it is much easier and less expensive to create revenue generation opportunities from an existing customer than it is to find a brand new customer, investing in service excellence, data collection and communications should be of high priority for all tourism businesses.
It is much easier and less expensive to generate bookings from an existing customer than it is find a brand-new customer.
With a strategy that is focused on proactively building new customers, then turning new customers into repeat customers, the tourism business can successfully create a year-round flow of bookings to generate revenue and drive profitability.