Host agency Travel Experts’ travel advisors have found new creative ways to keep in touch with clients during COVID-19, blending unique ideas with traditional forms of connections.
According to Travel Experts research, 90 percent of its members responding to a survey are communicating regularly with their clients during the COVID-19 crisis.
These communications have been welcomed. Nearly 37 percent of their clients are “very responsive” to the outreach, and an additional 60 percent are somewhat responsive, the research found. Only 3.4 percent of the travel advisors’ clients did not respond to any of the communications.
While email is still one of the most popular forms of connecting with clients, personal telephone calls are also proving very effective. Nearly half of travel advisors responding to the survey indicated that they have been making personal calls.
“I have used this opportunity to contact good clients who had not booked in a long time to see how they are doing,” said Laurie Reitman, a Travel Experts affiliate in Frisco, Texas.
“I am calling clients just to check in and make sure everyone in their family is safe and well,” said Linda Bailey, Royalty Travel Group, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Other ways of reaching out include newsletters with encouraging messages and promotional ideas for future travel.
“I have a weekly newsletter with ideas, mostly domestic and updates on international countries which allow U.S. visitors,” said Karen Ivanhoe Benson, Karen Benson Travel Adventures, Scottsdale, Arizona.
Some travel advisors are using more creative ways to connect and remind clients about travel.
“I sent travel cookies, landmarks, flags, etc., to my clients with the note: Dream Today, Travel Tomorrow,” said Peggy Purtell, a Travel Experts affiliate from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “Everyone loved them and called or posted them on Instagram.”
“I bought leather passport holders and wrote personal notes to clients to reassure them I am here for them,” said Kimberly Kiel, Kiel Travel, Pelham, Alabama.
One travel advisor really seized the moment, sending clients cute masks.
“I send out custom-made face masks with a note encouraging my clients to travel in the future,” said Emily Webber, We Travel Luxe, Brentwood, Tennessee. “My clients were very excited.”
Other advisors have created exclusive groups.
“I started a private Facebook group and make regular Facebook posts and send e-mails as well,” said Theresa Jackson, Enlightened Journeys Travel, Allendale, New Jersey.
Many have turned to one of the most traditional forms of keeping in touch—handwritten letters.
“I have decided to communicate an old fashion way,” said Lisa Prosser, Chartwell Luxury Travel, Mooresville, Indiana, adding: “I ordered new stationery and I’m sending letters to each person with whom I have done business—ever. I also ordered scratch pads called Travel Notes with a magnet and had them imprinted with my logo and contact information which I sent out to all clients along with a second letter.”
“Once a month I write a letter to all clients,” said Peg Aikman, a Travel Experts affiliate in Bridgeville, Delaware. “It’s based on what is currently going on. The first was a compassionate note, the second was hopeful and the third was also hopeful, yet had a call to action.”
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