As a tour operator, you are in the business of providing exceptional experiences for your customers. But to deliver those experiences, you must first have a few things in place.
Namely, you need a great website that is easy to navigate, a selection of tours and services that cater to all travelers, and, most importantly, a customer-centric approach that puts their needs first. Following these simple guidelines can set your tour operator business up for success!
Start With a Great Website
Your website is often the first point of contact between you and your potential customers. As such, your website must make a good impression! It should be easy to navigate, informative, and above all else, visually appealing.
If your website is outdated or difficult to use, potential customers will likely move on to someone who has made more of an effort in this area. Investing in a good website is essential for any business in the travel industry!
Three Reasons Why You Need a Good Website
- First impressions matter! As we mentioned, your website is often the first point of contact between you and your potential customers. This first impression can make or break whether or not they decide to do business with you. Make sure you are putting your best foot forward with a well-designed website!
- A good website will make you look more professional. In today’s day and age, people expect businesses to have well-designed websites. You may come across as unprofessional or out of touch if you don’t have one.
- A good website will help you attract more customers. A well-designed website will help you rank higher in search engines, making it more likely that potential customers will find you when looking for tour operators in your area. In addition, a good website will convert more visitors into paying customers!
- A good website will help you increase the communications with your clients. Whenever they want to book a tour, to pay for it or even to know more information about it, it is always easier with the website, than with a phone call. To maintain these objectives, you can also consider a reliable tour booking system like Bookeo, which can be also integrated with a website.
Offer a Variety of Tours and Services
Not all travelers are the same, meaning not all will be interested in the same things. To appeal to as many potential customers as possible, it is vital to offer a variety of tours and services.
This could include day trips, multi-day excursions, cultural tours, activities like hiking or biking, and more. The more options you offer, the greater the chance you’ll find something that appeals to each traveler.
Types of Tours and Services You Could Offer
- Day Trips: Day trips are an excellent option for travelers who are short on time but still want to see and do as much as possible. These trips can be customized to focus on a particular interest or area. For example, you could offer a day trip to a nearby city or town that includes a guided tour of the main sights, followed by free time to explore on your own.
- Multi-Day Excursions: Multi-day excursions are perfect for travelers who want to immerse themselves in their destination. These trips can last anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks and can be tailored to include accommodation, meals, transportation, and activities. For example, you could offer a multi-day tour of your country that includes stops at historic sites, national parks, and local restaurants.
- Cultural Tours: Cultural tours are a great way to learn about the history and traditions of a new place. These tours can be focused on a specific culture or period of history. For example, you could offer a cultural tour of Ancient Greece that includes visits to archaeological sites and museums.
- Activities: Many travelers are looking for more than just sightseeing when they travel. They want to get out and experience their destination in new and exciting ways. Therefore, offering activities like hiking, biking, kayaking, etc., is essential. This will allow travelers to try something new and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Always Put the Customer First
Your tour operator business exists for one reason and one reason only: to serve your customers. As such, you must always put their needs first! This means responding to their inquiries, offering troubleshooting assistance when things go wrong, and exceeding their expectations.
When your customers feel valued and well cared for, they will likely book with you again. Here are a few tips on how you can put your customers first:
Respond Quickly to Customer Inquiries
Good customer service is the lifeblood of any business. Satisfied customers are the ones who will keep coming back, after all. And in today’s day and age, with so many businesses competing for attention, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your customers are happy.
One fundamental way to do that is by responding to their inquiries as quickly as possible.
How Quickly Should You Respond?
Ideally, it would be best if you aimed to respond to customer inquiries within 24 hours. In some cases, you may get away within 48 hours, but any longer than that, you risk losing the customer’s business. If you can’t respond immediately, let them know when they can expect a response from you.
What If You Can’t Respond Within 24 Hours?
There will be times when you can’t respond to a customer inquiry within 24 hours. Maybe you’re waiting on a response from another department, or you’re waiting for more information from the customer. In those cases, it’s essential to let the customer know that you received their inquiry and are working on a response.
Offer Solutions When Things Go Wrong
No one is perfect, and things will inevitably go wrong from time to time. It is important to offer solutions and help troubleshoot issues when they go wrong. This shows your customers that you care about their experience and want to make things right.
There are a few steps you can take to handle customer complaints in a way that will leave them feeling heard and valued.
- The first step is to listen to the customer and try to understand their perspective. This can be difficult, especially if you know what they say is inaccurate. However, staying calm and listening to what they are saying is essential. Only then can you begin to address the issue.
- The second step is to offer a solution. This may mean apologizing for the inconvenience, providing a refund or credit, or exchanging the item for something the customer prefers. You must offer a solution that you know will resolve the issue for the customer.
- The third step is to follow up with the customer after resolving the issue. This shows that you care about their experience and want to ensure everything is alright. Following up also allows you to thank the customer for their patience and understanding.
Exceed Expectations Whenever Possible
Whenever possible, go above and beyond for your customers! This could be as simple as adding a personal touch to their experience or providing a discount for their next booking. These small gestures can make a big impression and will encourage your customers to continue doing business with you in the future.
By following these simple tips, tour operators can improve their business and ensure their industry’s success! A great website, a selection of tours and services catering to all types of travelers, and, most importantly – putting the customer first – are all critical ingredients for a successful tour operator business!