While your prospective customers are feeling more confident and eager to travel, they may still suffer from “Survivor’s Guilt,” which may make them slow to make a booking and possibly reluctant to tell others their travel plans, a direct hit on that great free word of mouth exposure for your business.
Here are a few ways you can help customers, and prospective customers, get over the Survivor’s Guilt to travel.
- Clearly communicate your safety protocols via all of your digital channels to build confidence to book and to tell others about the upcoming travel plans. In addition to a standard notice, use nice imagery appropriate to your overall marketing to illustrate what you are doing and engage your audience. This is also a great time to highlight the great efforts of your staff and thank them for their hard work during an extra challenging time.
- Encourage early booking through discounts or use other sense of urgency techniques, i.e. “We can only book to 50% capacity, so book now to avoid disappointment!”
- Make sure your cancellation policy is fair to your customers and to your business and communicate it clearly on the website, booking confirmation emails, etc.
- Feature reviews and testimonials you received from customers that used your facilities while safety protocols are in place, especially if this is noted as handled well by you.
- Use email marketing and/or social media to build and maintain a relationship with prospective customers. Nurturing your online community is even more important when your audience has concerns that may keep them from booking. Keep them engaged and confident in your business with consistent, relevant content.
- Focus on re-engaging past customers. If your resources are limited, focus on the easiest target: those you already have a relationship with and may feel more confident to return to your facilities.
- Make it easy for customers to share their travel plans with their friends online.
- Encourage customers to sign up for mailing lists and connect on social media.
- Post great content and make sure it’s subtly branded and shareable.
- Ask for the share. As I always say, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get!”
- If relevant to your business offer a reward/discount for referrals.
Use these techniques to help your audience get over their Survivor’s Guilt to Travel so they will book sooner and feel comfortable to share their travel plans and keep your business strong during the upcoming tourism season.