When a customer walks through the doors or calls, don’t presume you already know what is best for them. To really deliver the best experience, you need to get a good brief. Don’t rush this, take the time to let them do the talking. This will show them you really care about their needs and are not just trying to make a quick sale.
The more you understand your customers, the more you can fine-tune your offering and give them something they can’t find online.
Next time you have a customer in front of you, try one of these 6 questions to gain greater insights into what they are looking for:
1. Are you interested in hearing about some options you might not have thought of?
The customer might already have an idea about what they are looking for and more likely than not, it will be the typical popular destinations.
However, demonstrate your travel expertise and throw in some options that they probably would never have thought of. If they end up having an incredible experience as a result, their trust and loyalty towards you will reach new heights!
2. Where did you last go on holiday? What did you like/dislike about it?
Okay, okay… it’s two questions, we know. But they are linked.
Asking for specific experiences and strong emotions is clever in order to obtain useful information. For most of us it’s easier to refer to these memories than generic perceptions.
Their last holiday should be your benchmark and you should be aiming to better it.
The second question will give you a better understanding about what they are looking for. Knowing what they didn’t like, tells you what you definitely need to avoid.
3. What does the perfect day on holiday look like for you?
This is a great question to ask that will give you insights beyond just asking what their priorities are.
Firstly, they will unknowingly reveal nuggets of information and details that will give you a deep understanding of their perfect holiday.
Secondly, just by describing their perfect day will psychologically put them in a good frame of mind. If you are able to deliver that to them, you will be a step closer to a booking.
4. What’s more important to you, (‘A’ benefit) or (‘B’ benefit)?
Giving your customers clear options to choose from, will help you quickly narrow your search.
If you customer is on a tight budget, at some point they might have to make a compromise. If they want to go off the beaten path it’s better to avoid the usual destinations in your recommendations.
As important as understanding your customers’ needs, is knowing what they are not looking for and what their priorities are.
5. Are you celebrating anything special while you’re away?
When trying to cross-sell or upsell something, your chances will increase the more relevant it is to the customer. And what better excuse is there for your customer to splash the extra cash than when celebrating something special?
For example by suggesting a relevant activity or an upgrade that would make a couple’s wedding anniversary extra special, psychologically you will be making them think they should be celebrating in style.
But wait there is more… this will also give you the opportunity to add some nice little touches of personalization. Make arrangements with the hotel to add a bottle of champagne to that couple’s room as a gift, and you’ll be re-paid in loyalty!
6. Let’s forget about budget for a moment, what’s your dream holiday?
Unless they have an unlimited budget, they will probably have some expectations of what they can get for their money. By asking this question, you are removing biases and can truly discover your customer’s expectations and dreams.
It doesn’t mean you will be able to deliver all of their dream holiday for their budget, but there might be some elements or details that you pull from their answer and then deliver thus exceeding their expectations. And when you exceed expectations, you increase trust and loyalty!
Go beyond the normal questions, try to understand want they are looking for, use empathy and put yourself in your customer’s shoes to show why you are key in making their trip an exceptional experience.