Written By: By: Joanie Ogg, Editor and Co-Founder – Travel Professional NEWS
Growing your customer base with client testimonials is a surefire way to build your travel business. Do you find it difficult to sell yourself? Technically you are selling travel products and services to your clients, but when it comes right down to it, You are really selling yourself and your service to them. If you think it is hard to sell yourself, then how can you be so bold as to ask your clients for testimonials about you and your service?
The good news is, it is not really that hard and once you get the hang of it you will be more confident and secure about your services because people want to tell you they appreciate you. You just have to ask. There is no doubt that client testimonials can effortlessly bring you more sales and more qualified prospects. It’s simple really. Your clients can sell you better then you can. Client success stories speak to your prospect’s un-decidedness by proving your credibility and creating trust in their buying decisions.
Have you ever noticed that there really are very few travel agents that use testimonials from their clients? It’s true, take a look at a variety of agency sites on the web and you will be surprised to find how few really use this incredible selling strategy. That is likely because if you think it is hard to ask for the sale, how in the world could you have the courage to ask for a testimonial? It might also be that you simply forget to do so. These are timely sales tactics that need immediate attention. You need to reach them when the recent trip experience is top-of-mind and when they are still reeling from the joy of the vacation.
The bottom line is if you are not willing to create testimonial marketing to share you awesomeness with current and future clients, then you are ignoring a money-making strategy to grow your business.
Following are some simple ways to gather great client testimonials.
Provide Great Customer Service
If you are just starting out in your travel business, it may take a little time to generate the client base to reach out to for testimonials. Do not despair, do it right and they will sing your praises. However, if you have a client base and are confident in your exemplary customer service, the start asking.
Timing is Everything – When to Ask
The optimum time to ask for a testimonial is when a client reaches out to you after their trip or even before they travel and they are in that very happy place. Either you have provided them with terrific service and the trip of a lifetime, or during the booking process you have done something special for which they are grateful. Be it before the trip or after, if they thanking you…ask for a testimonial
How to Ask
It is not just about asking, but by asking the right way. Which of these two methods do you think is correct?
“I am trying to add some content to my website and I wanted to ask you if you would write a testimonial about my services?”
Or, “I am so glad I could get that upgrade secured for you and that you enjoyed the cruise so much! This is what I love about what I do, hearing from clients about their great vacations is so rewarding. Thank you for sharing this with me. I was wondering if you would be willing to let me feature your comments on my website as a client success story? I know your comments would really inspire other people to enjoy my service.”
It’s All About the Message
Be sure that you ask for their story. Do not make it about how great you are. This should be a subtle message that rings loud to the reader but does not stand out as a self-promotion. You do not want a testimonial telling the world how very cool are but instead you want a testimonial that sings the praises of the results they experienced because they used your agency.
Make it Easy for Clients
I am often asked to provide testimonials for some of our advertisers. If they don’t share with me what they are expecting the content to be, it makes it very difficult for to provide a succinct message. Tell your client exactly what you want in your testimonial. If your client is daunted by writing (as many people are), ask them to just jot down a few bullet points. You can help edit and let them give the final approval.
Say Thank You
Your valued clients are the reason your business is successful. Showing your appreciation for their feedback and the time they have taken to help you grow your business deserves thanks.
You might send a thank you card or you might consider offering them a token of appreciation such as a Starbucks gift card. Some agents offer a discount of some type on their next trip and claim it works well for them. I am not sure how I feel about that method. It seems to me like that method is buying their testimonial. It is likely that once you provide a discount they will expect it every time they book with you and needless to say that can be a nightmare in the long run. The important thing is to remember to say a sincere thank you, not matter what your method may be.
So in closing, thank you for taking the time to read this article and our publication.