How to improve my business on OTAs
Let’s talk about OTAs
Recognise the Online Travel Agents as a marketing and sales channel for your business. Elaborate your product and give it an opportunity to be sold online.
The OTAs play an enormous influence on the way travellers make their tour bookings. Make your business friendlier to the the Online Travel Agent and benefit from it.
Below you will find three (3) key steps on how to optimise your business through the OTA platforms.
1) Images – First Impression
A good quality and attractive image is a door ‘opener’ to book an activity online.
How many times have your found yourself staring at a picture wishing you were there?
Well this should be your exact approach to your business imagery shared online. Your potential customer, an OTA user will need to have that moment of emotional connection with your service.
Refresh your image library on OTAs platforms and invest on image production.
- Use only High Quality images
- Pictures should be your service (example a trekking experience) but not only of the gear but also of the places you will be visiting, create a journey with the pictures going from one place to an other.
The NO rules:
- do not use your phone
- do not use random people in your pictures (friends and family or even worse customers without a consent form).
Try to see through your consumer’s eyes.
2) Service description – Storytelling
This is your opportunity to describe your service at its best, present it through a story and let your consumer be part of it. Provide a solid description of the product which reflects the true experience. Choose your wording wisely and carefully.
Do use an attractive tagline but not a generic one.
Here is an example – which one would you choose?
a) ’Beautiful tours’ or
b) ‘Santorini Dawn Sailing Experience’?
Make your service stand out.
Introduce your product to the OTA users, explain to the audience the experience when selecting your service.
3) Reviews – Trustworthy
Reviews on OTAs are traditionally reliable because users can only post a review after they’ve performed the activity. However, operators responding to reviews on OTA sites are few, they either neglect or choose only one channel to reply on reviews.
It’s important to do an efficient job of managing online reviews, and recognizing the essential role they play in both your customers’ post-activity experience and in influencing the perception of other potential consumer.
Carefully respond to all guest reviews yes good and bad included.
How to respond on a negative review:
- Thank the customer by name – even if the review is hurtful, this guest is taking time to give you feedback.
- Extend an apology – this does not mean you are admitting on wrongdoing – express your sympathy that the customers experience fell short of expectation.
- Follow up -when possible. If you have your guest details it would be wise to follow up and understand your customer.
- There are also times when you have followed all the procedures and the customer is still not happy You need to show any potential customer who see the review online that you’ve done everything possible to resolve the issue.
Responding on reviews should be as quickly as possible, as it is also one more step you can take to repay you relationship with your unhappy customer. It will also minimise the number of other travellers to see the review online without a response.
Always keep in mind your online exposure is a mirror of your business treat it wisely.
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