13 Ways to Maintain a Client Base Throughout the Pandemic
The COVID-19 situation has been hard for everyone, but the travel companies have been one of the most affected sectors. This is due to the fact that, even if they were maintaining a client base that was loyal to their services, COVID-19 has stopped the passion that these loyal customers had for travelling by putting common safety first. How can we assure that these people will ask again for our services as soon as they resume travelling?
We have developed a comprehensive guide of some actions that your travel company can do as an effort to keep your spot in the top of mind of your customers. This is a good opportunity for showing them more above your services: your values, your knowledge and the ways you innovate.
1. Discounts and offers
This is a classical but effective way in which companies from every industry gained and retained their clients based by taking care of their money. By offering your clients discounts, coupons and offers that they can use as soon as they can go back travelling, you assure that they will come back to you. B2B Loyalty programs are a great way to implement this.
2. Virtual Tours
The quarantine has provided for a lot of people an opportunity to discover new ways of getting out of boredom. Many museums, theme parks, zoos, aquariums and tourist spots have built platforms for getting to know their physical spaces without getting out of home. This is also a great opportunity for offering insights of touristic places your clients may wanted to go before but that they weren’t sure about. Take advantage of these virtual tours and present them to your clients: this can be the tipping point for them to plan an upcoming physical visit.
3. Think video
Have you heard of the cat videos loophole? A lot of people love to see videos of cats doing stuff and they can spend hours on this. Maybe your company doesn’t have a bunch of cats to record, but you work with a niche that people love to see on the internet: travel. So, make travel more accessible for everyone, by re-editing your old marketing videos into short social media shareable clips; or by showing people how to different functions in your platform on a short but complete YouTube video.
4. Giveaways on Social Media
People enjoy participating on social media giveaways that require a minimum effort from them but that assures them a chance of winning something for free. For your clients, sharing your Facebook post and tagging a friend is not a big deal, but for your travel company this means everything: from increasing the visibility of your service online to reaching potential new customers. In this win-win situation, your clients may get a good prize from you while your travel company gets discovered by more people.
5. 1 on 1 meetings
This is unique for B2B companies. During this time, the needs of the companies you serve may have changed considerably. A good way to know how your solutions can adjust to these new needs is by hearing it directly from your clients. On this 1 on 1 meeting, the CEO can hear actively how their clients business has changed and start building tailored solutions for these new needs.
6. Help YOUR clients with their profitability
If you are serving a B2B market, you may have seen that your clients may also be struggling with their businesses. If you are in a position where you can provide any solutions to overcome their difficult situation, don’t hesitate to start doing it. This guide will help you pick up tips on 10 Ways How OTAs, Tour Operators and Travel Agencies can Optimize Profitability.
7. Encourage networking
Use your network to help your customers get more sales, by introducing to your customers people from your network who might be interested in their services. This is not just a business move but it transcends to sharing trust values with your B2B partners.
8. Compensate for referrals
This has been a classical marketing strategy for every business, most common in digital environments. But when it comes to the current context, this may be a key action for maintaining a client base. Motivate your clients to be the main ambassadors of your brand by giving them special benefits such as discounts, points or a VIP status from every referral.
9. Create beneficial partnerships
“Together we are stronger”. This phrase has been heard a lot in different contexts and spaces around, but because of how reasonable it is. As individual businesses have seen their sales get down by the pandemic, they can be more open to dialog and join forces. By getting into alliances with other companies related to your travel niche, your company will be able to offer better services to your clients. Sometimes, these partnerships can lead to future travel packages or better prices on your solutions, even to the extreme of a potential merge.
10. Maintaining a client base by showing gratitude
This is basically saying “Thank you” to everyone: from the customers that have used your service one time to the more loyals that have always relied on you for any travel service they need. Show the human-side of your company that your clients haven’t seen since the last time they got your services. Shoot them an email, a social media post or even a letter, where you remind them that they are the main reason for your company to exist.
11. Over deliver quality customer service
Everyone is experiencing delays on customer support. At the side of travel companies, this affectation has been worse, due to the wave of cancellations that these companies had to process. However, this turns into an opportunity for standing out. If you continue offering quality customer service, even exceeding your clients expectations, there’s a big chance of leaving an upstanding mark on your customer’s trust for your company.
12. Advocate for kindness acts
If there’s a chance of offering your services as a way to solve a need that the community has, don’t hesitate to do it. Kindness acts, even if the industry is struggling itself, show the public your company’s values beyond the services you give. This has a huge impact in the confidence that any client would have in your company: by acting in favor of your community without asking anything in return, your customers can sense an interest in their well-being, more than thinking just about their money.
13. Listen proactively to your customer’s feedback
Let your customers talk to you about your service. One great way to do it is by surveys, digital or by phone, where you can ask your customers the things you would like to assess from your company, but also let them share any thoughts or advice. Listen carefully and guarantee them that their opinions are being heard. Gather all the information that you got from your customers and start making changes on the common problems they have mentioned.
Maintaining a client base is also about being top of mind of their travel company options. Reaching this spot or staying there is quite hard for everyone, but it’s crucial for getting your clients back as soon as they travel restarts. Transparency and excellency are important for keeping your loyal clients, from your customer service to your marketing. When there’s genuine loyalty and trust from your client base to your company, no pandemic will be able to break them.