Contributed By: The Travel Institute
The Coronavirus pandemic has changed how travel professionals conduct their business—in ways we have yet to discover. One of the most pressing needs we as a travel community must face is determining how to secure the health and safety of our clients and to restore their faith in travel. Consumer confidence has taken a massive hit, so now, more than ever before, understanding your customers’ fears and expectations is critical to your future sales.
Understanding Customer Needs is a module covered in The Travel Institute’s Certified Travel Associate (CTA®) program. This course is designed to teach you what motivates different types of travelers and help you select the best products to match their needs.
To continue sharpening your skills on the psychology of customer needs, take advantage of The Travel Institute’s annual 50% Scholarship Program open now through July 31st. Visit www.thetravelinstitute.com to apply.
In this article are insights shared by Diane Petras, CTIE, President of The Travel Institute regarding tools to help you understand the buying behavior.
Do you sometimes feel you’re not finding the type of client you can serve best? How can you match the right client to the right trip? Do you wish you had a magic wand? From a sales perspective, capturing and adding psychographic data to your marketing is like adding magic. It is the data that defines what will inspire your client to buy.
Let’s take a look at what this means and how it works.
Psychographics are statistics that classify groups of people according to psychological variables like attitudes, value, or fears.
Psychographics are a bit like demographics, but, in addition to collecting data on age, marital status, and income bracket, you are collecting data on behavior. This information could mean hobbies, favorite restaurants, fashion choices, and other observations. Capturing this type of data helps you better understand which products are likely to trigger a client to buy.
As an example, if you are promoting a high-end wellness trip, you’d likely narrow your market to those in a certain income bracket, but psychographics can further identify those within that market who exercise regularly, prioritize healthy eating, and value time with like-minded individuals. This finely tuned market can have different messaging because you already know certain things about them and can play up those aspects of the trip.
Demographics can define a market, but you would be missing out on what motivates people to take action. Psychographics gives you more insight into those motivators.
To begin capturing this type of data, you could have clients fill out a survey. But it might be better to gather data through conversations, so all the answers come easily and honestly. Examples could include conversations about where clients like to grocery shop, what are their favorite restaurants (and why), what might be the things they enjoy doing in their free time, or what are the clubs and causes they support. These should be comfortable conversations and not inquisitions. You are getting to know your customers by listening and learning about their values.
The next time you are attending a supplier training, write down a few qualifying questions that would help you find the right market for that specific product. Then take a few minutes to think about your next client conversation. Start by asking your clients what they did over the weekend. If you keep it conversational (meaning you are also contributing your own ideas and preferences), you will receive honest and open feedback and will keep the door open for additional questions about likes, dislikes, and lifestyle.
When you start these conversations, store the data and use it to market. You will begin to see the magic and inspiration created by the psychographic data contained in the responses from a highly targeted audience. And that insight will help you improve your return on your marketing investment overall.