Written By: Andy Ogg – Editor for Travel Professional NEWS
What was the last product you purchased that you enjoyed opening? Was it a new tech gadget or shiny trinket? Whatever it was, the feeling of unboxing a well packaged product somehow makes the purchase that much more enjoyable, doesn’t it? What about a customer service experience that left you truly satisfied? That one employee that took the extra step to make not only your day better, but made the purchase seem much more valuable because of their care?
Sparked from a recent personal experience, I share these ideas of the power of presentation with you, in hopes that you can provide that same feeling to your clients. Whether it be for a family of six or a couple embarking on their honeymoon, each of your clients should receive their documents in a way that makes them say “wow!”
We recently moved to Vista, CA in August of 2015. Vista is located in the North County portion of San Diego and is an absolutly amazing place to live. With curving roads full of cascading hills, watching the sun dip behind the tree lined landscape just makes Vista an awesome place to live. We purchased our home and found out that the neighbors, with a nearly identical home, were entering foreclosure. The neighbors vacated the property in February of 2016 and the home went to auction before being purchased by an investor looking to “flip” the property.
The new owner took possession and went to work. The carpets were cleaned, landscape re-done with all new sod and decorative plants. The place looked fantastic at first and we were positive that with it’s recent upgrades that it would sell very quickly. I was taking the trash cans to the street one evening and saw a person photographing the house for it’s listing, I struck up a conversation and peeked my head inside the home to check it out. Sure enough, minus a few ceiling fans and wood work, it was our home’s twin. The photographer informed me he was the cousin of the listing agent and doing this as a favor to him.
The listing was released and unfortunately the photos did absolutely no justice to the home. In fact, they made the home look so poor that it sat on the market through many an open house. I believe the listing agent got desperate and dropped the listing price over $50,000 dollars and that sparked some movement. I am happy to say that they were able to sell the home after it being on the market for 4 months. What can we learn from their actions? Presentation. Presentation. Presentation.
When your clients contact you, from initial contact all the way to their return from their trip. Your presentation should reflect, not only the business you are, but the business you want to be. From your photos on your website and social media, to the signature you use in your email, always present yourself as the professional you are.
Unfortunately, presenting yourself as a professional isn’t always the most cost efficient route. However, I truly feel that the best investment you can make is in yourself. Investing in great equipment to perform your job and coming up with fantastic and unique ways to deliver final documents to a client, and even a personalized gift to a large client can set you apart from the rest.
Correspondence is one of the larger ways that you can present yourself as a professional to your clients. With technology enabling so many methods of communication and each customer having a different preference, make sure to note in your CRM which methods the client prefers. Whether it be text, email, phone calls, a social media messaging application or just good ole’ snail mail, make sure to spend an extra minute on each communication to ensure that your message reads correctly and is grammatically acceptable. This will not only create value for the work you are completing, but emphasize the professional you are.
Apple is widely known in the technology industry for having some of the most attractive packaging out there, in fact they employ a dedicated department to the design, implementation and construction of the packaging materials. On average they spend $7.00 per iPhone on just the packaging according to DigitalTrends.com. The fit and finish makes the unboxing of the product enjoyable and valuable to the consumer making the expense, a much easier one to swallow. There are fantastic options out there that can work for you and at affordable prices to create a delivery method that isn’t just professional, but gives your clients the warm and fuzzy feeling when opening their final documents from their favorite Travel Professional! There are tons of options at your local office supply store and even more ideas on the web at sites like Pinterest
Now that you are communicating and delivering documents like a true Travel Professional, what can we do to follow up in the same manner? With the internet at your reach, sites like vistaprint.com, etsy.com, and tinyprints.com, the only thing stopping you is your imagination. Many of these sites offer pre-designed templates and also the ability to create your own at no extra charge. Spend some time and make something that you are proud of, make it your own. Drop it in the mail while your clients are out on their trip and when they return home, the feeling they will get will assure you a customer for life.
Many of you are already completing these steps and bravo to you! You know the value in spending the little bit extra to truly deliver an experience at every turn of the sale. Whether you are taking these extra steps or not, I challenge you this: Take it one step further and then strive to take it to the next level. Taking pride in not only your work, but your presentation may change your business, but it may also adversely change your life for the better. Whether or not we take a cognitive second glance at packaging or thank you notes, our sub-conscious mind sure takes note. We remember that someone took that extra minute, that extra step. We remember that for a very long time. Be the memory for your clients, from start to finish. Don’t be the beautiful home that is being presented poorly and sits on the market, be the home that gets listed and sold the same day.