4 tips for engaging with your customers in this climate

Senior Tourism Officer - City of Armadale

We all know what a challenging time this is to be a business owner, unless perhaps you sell office furniture or at-home gym equipment!

For those in the tourism industry, we’re being faced with circumstances we never would’ve imagined or ever thought to prepare for. Now more than ever, we need each other’s support and given the current climate now is the perfect time to engage with your customers and let them know ‘We are all in this together’.

This article has been written with tourism businesses in mind, however most tips will be applicable to any industry.

  1. Be honest and transparent

It’s understandable that our customers will be stressed and anxious about any upcoming travel plans. Contact your customers with outstanding bookings to give them an update on their reservation. Right now it’s hard to give estimations on when you will be back open for business, but reassure your customers that you will keep them informed every step of the way.

  1. Encourage your customers to ‘Postpone, don’t cancel’

Where possible, encourage your customers to postpone their trip instead of cancelling. If a customer is concerned about picking new dates can you hold their reservation in a credit? Is there an incentive you can offer to encourage postponing over cancelling? Eg. Extra night free, upgrades, additional extras.

  1. Inspire your followers on social media

Anxiety and stress online is growing, give your followers a break and help them dream or escape reality a little. Of course, we must be sensitive about what we post right now – no photos of crowds on beaches! But maybe you can post a throwback to a beautiful dining event you’ve hosted, or the stunning scenery that surrounds you. Better yet, if you’re working on something new – e.g. Using this time to upgrade rooms or work on a new tour offering, help us get excited and show us!

  1. Investigate online offerings

So it’s not business as usual, but maybe you can get creative and think of ways to keep your customers engaged virtually. Can you live stream your experiences? Create virtual tours using Facebook 3D photos or 360’ video? Have some fun and experiment a little, just remember to be mindful about your messaging and maintain consistency with current government advice or regulations.

Senior Tourism Officer - City of Armadale