If you are a travel industry professional, you'll know that having a solid repeat client base is crucial.
With your repeat clients, you can build ongoing relationships, and even better, they will start to tell their friends and family about you. According to Travel Weekly, 37% of people who use a travel agent over a website or online booking system do so because of a friend's recommendation.
In the digital age, it is more important than ever to encourage referrals, because your competitors are not just other agents, but a whole smorgasbord of websites that claim to offer the best deals.
If you can't compete by being more prevalent than these sites, you need to appeal to something deeper, which is trust. With 92% of people trusting referrals from people they know word of mouth is still a very powerful marketing strategy.
So how can you get referrals in the travel industry?
Social Media Recommendations
These days, nearly everyone is on social media, and it is not uncommon to see posts asking for recommendations from friends and family for a particular product or service.
There is no surefire way to ensure that your clients are going to recommend you on their profiles, but the best method is to offer exceptional customer service in the hope of making a lasting impression. Further, you can connect with your clients on social media so that they can tag you and thank you in posts, or alongside all their happy holiday snaps! Creating genuine online relationships and having an online presence is a great way to generate recommendations, and therefore referrals.
Discounts and Promotions
Another great way to motivate your clients to refer others to your business is to share the rewards with them.
You can have a referral bonus where, once their friends or family book with you, they receive a discount off their next trip. The bonus doesn't need to be a large sum, but it will help keep you front of mind when your existing clients are speaking about travel with others. Not to mention it means they will come back to you next time they decide to book in order to use their accrued earnings.
Sometimes, even in a sales role, we can get nervous about asking our clients for things. If you can overcome that fear, and simply ask your clients for an introduction to their wider network, you might be surprised by the result.
If your client is already booking with you, they probably like you, and most likely want to help you. If you phrase the request as an appeal for help, you will appeal to your client's goodwill, and they will feel good about the fact that they have been able to do you a favour.
These are just a few ways that you can generate referrals in the travel industry and continue to grow your business year after year. Give them a try and we are sure your clients will be singing your praises in no time.