As much as I’d like to think that people could easily mistake me for Leonardo DiCaprio, I have to concede that I’m no Wolf of Wall Street.
But I do know one little quirky fact about the financial markets – a well-documented phenomenon called ‘flight to quality’. The idea is that in times of trouble investors will always seek out somewhere safe to stick their money. ‘Quality’ in these cases is things like gold and government bonds.
The concept is human nature, after all. If there’s a hurricane coming you’re safer under the bed than out in the car park. People run from trouble so as not to come to any harm. What folks also want is a reassuring arm around their shoulder – great news for agents in the post-Brexit UK.
Uncertainty appears to be the new normal at the moment and here is our chance to shine. We all know very well that the retailers around nowadays are the ones doing great stuff for their customers, so it shouldn’t be too much of a leap for us all to raise our game another notch and keep delivering the service that adds genuine value to the booking process to keep customers coming back.
I’ve had lots of feedback from Global members that customers are asking all sorts of questions about their bookings – from the possible need for visas to visit Europe to whether their UK driving licence will still be valid overseas. Being on top of the news and being able to answer these queries is something I know you are all doing as a matter of course.
What’s important now is that the industry as a whole addresses the fears of the unknown, and we can do this with some simple steps in our marketing approach. Firstly it is the ‘hand-holding’ element I’ve already mentioned. Equipping clients with the facts takes away their worries. In turn, they’ll have no reason not to holiday. Addressing things head on shows you are on top of your game.
Secondly, let’s keep talking up holidays. Social media is a brilliant way of showing what’s popular and the deals available. Behavioural research proves people are attracted to ‘social proof’ – knowing that other people are doing stuff encourages me to do it as well.
And thirdly, we need our operator and tourist board partners to keep on showing potential customers what’s great. If clients keep seeing, for example, that the Florida theme parks are brilliant fun they will continue to buy as they always have. The opportunity is there for the taking and you are in the driving seat.