With all the focus on winning new business, it can be easy to forget about the people that are paying your wages right now: your existing customers.
Neglecting your existing customers can be a costly mistake to make. According to Accenture, once a provider loses a customer, 68% of consumers will not go back.
Building loyalty meanwhile, with 5% more customers, would lead to an increased average profit per customer of between 25% and 100%, says The Loyalty Effect.
The incentive to keep your customers coming back for more is obvious. So just how can your travel business create an enduring bond with your customers?
1. Make a great first impression
Much of the first impression you make depends on your website. If your website is difficult to navigate or cluttered with 'fluff' and unnecessary information, you risk turning customers off before they've even had a chance to check out your prices. According to a Walker study, by the year 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. So use your customer data to decipher how visitors engage with your website and tune it accordingly. There's a great deal to be said for a website that leads customers straight through to the information they're most interested in. Thanks to the latest content management software, changing the layout of your website has never been easier.
2. Create interesting and relevant content
For the relationship between a brand and a customer to stand the test of time, the company must give the customer the impression than they are worth more to them than just their wallet. Content marketing is a great way of building a stronger relationship with your customers, as it involves trying to help them tackle their everyday challenges via a steady stream of helpful content. That'll explain why brands are producing more and more content with every passing year – they're reaping the rewards of more engaged, happier customers.
3. Build a mailing list
A few years ago, people were writing email marketing off as 'out of date' and 'ineffective'. Yet, here were are in 2016 and email marketing is still a thing. Why? Because it's fantastically aligned with buyer behaviour, while being cost effective to boot. If statistics are to be believed, email marketing has a return on investment of 3800%. The ubiquity of the smartphone has a lot to do with why email marketing is still relevant – mobile users can't fail to notice their emails. Packing your emails with some of that great content we mentioned above will see subscribers not only read your emails, but click through to your website.
4. Embrace mobile
By the end of the year, over half of travellers who book trips via digital means will do so using a mobile device, according to eMarketer. So if you haven't integrated a mobile platform into your travel business by then, you can expect to miss out on more than just a handful of sales. Even those extremely loyal customers might be inclined to look elsewhere in the name of convenience.
Your existing customers shouldn't be taken for granted. In fact, they should be given the VIP treatment, otherwise they will have no reason to do repeat business with you. Give them an experience that is fitting of 2016 by utilising the best technology and techniques that are available to the travel industry.