By Andy Sernovitz on February 17th, 2009 | 98110 comments on this postAndy%27s+top+5+word-of-mouth+tips+for+travel+agents+2009-02-17+17%3A08%3A32Andy+Sernovitzhttp%3A%2F%2Fsmartblogs.com%2Fsocialmedia%2F%3Fp%3D981
- Ask for reviews. Sites like Yelp! and Angie’s List are where people go to find out if you’ve got a good reputation. Odds are you have a ton of happy fans that have never thought to submit a review for you. Sending a simple, polite request to your customers asking them to share their opinions of your services on these sites can do wonders for your positive word of mouth.
- Be proactive. Any travel agent can book a vacation — there’s no reason to tell a friend about that. But if you save a traveler’s butt when the unexpected happens, or if you get them a really great deal, they’ll tell everyone about you. Be prepared for the unexpected and take advantage of any opportunity to save a client.
- Pick a specialty. Having a specific, focused topic supports healthy word of mouth. Being the “all-purpose travel agent” is too broad for anyone to share or talk about. Instead, become known for a particular niche — you’ll still get calls for everything else, but people will recommend you when they hear someone looking for something specific.
- Do a live event. Get people talking by hosting a reception, a party, or an educational class. One of the advantages a travel agency has is that it’s not just a Web site — it’s got a physical location and can use it to bring people together. Bring folks to you with a lesson from an expert traveler or for a post vacation celebration.
- Help fans share their travel experiences. When people go on vacation, they take tons of videos and photographs, representing a lot of examples of the experience you helped create. Help them share it by setting up Flickr accounts and Facebook groups where your travelers are invited to share their pictures and videos with their friends.
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