Word of Mouth – Get them to talk about you

Did you know that, according to referralcandy.com, customers attained through word-of-mouth spend 200% more than the typical customer? They also make double the referrals than your usual client.

Mark Zuckerberg, chairman, chief executive and co-founder of Facebook, said:

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.”

This is why review platforms, like TripAdvisor, are doing so well in the tourism and hospitality industry: People influence people. Before making any purchases, customers search for reviews and referrals related to products and services they are interested in, in order to make a calculated decision on what to purchase.

Word of Mouth

Word of Mouth

Customers trust those suggesting certain products and services, as they know that no one will put their name on the line for a brand that won’t live up to the anticipated standards.

Referring customers may dub a hotel’s check-out process one of the most important touch points of the customer’s experience. A restaurant’s work is not necessarily done after the customer has paid the bill. Yes, post-purchase experiences can determine a customer’s brand preference just as much as any other touch point in the customer journey, encouraging or discouraging word-of-mouth marketing.

The question is: What is it that makes customers want to talk about your brand?

Word-of-mouth kicks in…

  • When a customer experiences something way beyond what was expected.
  • When the customer was impressed by a physical, non-verbal statement. It could be a unique architectural feature, a kinetic or educational experience or an act of generosity, like offering free dessert to buying customers. Like entrepreneur.com puts it: “Flour, butter and sugar are cheap advertising.” In comparison to all the other advertising options out there, I agree. Find something within your brand that sets you apart from the rest, even if it costs you a little extra flour, butter and sugar each month. Use it to your advantage.
  • When you prepare and budget to deliver a service that generates word-of-mouth. Sometimes we need to sacrifice one thing in order to gain another, i.e. Expanding your restaurant with a unique children’s playground might just get your customers talking.
  • When you trust and allow your customers to deliver the news about your brand to their friends. They won’t repeat what you say in your advertisements – give them the opportunity to do the marketing for you.
  • When it is something interesting to share with friends. There has to be a reason customers want to talk about your destination, isn’t there?
  • When it is easy. You need to help word-of-mouth along. Make it a simple, easy-to-share message – anything longer than a sentence is too long. Don’t just stick the message to a brochure or your website – make it portable with things like emails and social media.
  • When you make customers happy. Content customers are supreme promoters, so delight them, excite them and make them want to tell a friend.
  • When customers trust and respect you. Always be honourable and entwine ethics into what you do. Be good to your customers and satisfy their needs. Customers won’t talk about a company that might embarrass them by not living up to what others say about the brand.

Whether we like it or not, word-of-mouth is here to stay. As people, we want to have conversations and we want to share in each other’s joy. It’s part of our being. So get your ducks in a row, put on your brainstorming caps and create opportunities for customers to talk about you!

Journey Mapping Workshop

It’s not always easy to know what your customer expects, which means you are not always able to provide them with the best possible service. If you knew what they might need or expect within the next few minutes, you’d be able to assist them without them having to request assistance.
Travelling Mystery Guest invites you to attend the upcoming Customer Journey Mapping Workshop on 3 June 2015 at Eagle’s View Guest House and Conference Centre, Roodepoort. Here you will be able to create your own customer journey map, identify different types of customers and their possible expectations. We’ll get into your customer’s shoes, put on our thinking caps and jot down the various touch points where you can “wow” your customers.

Journey Mapping Workshop - 3 June 2015

Journey Mapping Workshop – 3 June 2015

Journey mapping helps you to identify “touch points” with the customer where you have the opportunity to “wow” them. A few of these touch points include engagement on social media, guests’ arrival at the hotel’s security gate, guests’ checking in process at reception and many more. These touch points can also differ from customer to customer. A business man’s expectation during the check-in process might be for it to be as quick as possible, where a family on holiday might expect welcome drinks and welcome kits for kids on their arrival.
For more information, contact Renate de Villiers on 082 336 1562 / enquire@travellingmystery.co.za
Book now by completing the form HERE or pop Renate an email.

How to create engagement from fans on social media:

Having a fan page on Facebook, being on Twitter and writing a blog post every now and again does not always create the engagement on social media you would expect. How can you create more engagement? Here are a few tips:

 
1. Ask questions that are relevant to your fans.
2. Post fill-in-the-blank sentences, i.e. Complete the sentence: Travelling Mystery Guest’s workshops are _____.
3. Ask followers to retweet your tweets.
4. Share videos.
5. Share jokes and memes relevant to your industry.
6. Run competitions.
7. Post a quiz.
8. Comment on other pages’ posts or tweets and create conversation.
9. Share before and after photos.
10. Share photos of guests or visitors (with their consent, off course).

 
To learn more about the basics of social media, be sure to book your seat at our upcoming workshop, back by popular demand, on 6 OR 8 May 2015. For more information, contact Renate on 082 336 1562 or enquire@travellingmystery.co.za.

Exciting Workshop Coming Up!

To anyone and everyone interested in learning more about the basics of social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter, here is an exciting workshop for you to attend. This social media workshop will teach you all the basics you need to know to be able to use these platforms as free marketing tools for your small business or even as an individual.

The workshop takes place at Eagle’s View Guest House and Conference Centre in Little Falls, Johannesburg on two consecutive dates: 11 and 14 March 2015.

Contact Travelling Mystery Guest for more information on 082 336 1562 or enquire@travellingmystery.co.za

Social Media Workshop March 2015

Social Media Workshop

Tell your story

People have been fond of stories for centuries. They can identify with it. Stories have been told over the years in order to explain, educate and entertain. Back then, people and children could sit and listen to the stories that were told. Today stories need to include visual content in order to draw attention.

Storytelling

Storytelling

Isn’t this ideal for a guesthouse, hotel or restaurant? Many of these destinations have some kind of history to share, a great view, some unique dishes or a reputation for the best service in town. Why not share this story with the public in the form of stories and images? It is such a great tool for content creation and really not difficult.

Ways to do it:

  • Create a story book for kids that tells the story of your destination and what the readers will be able to see here.
  • Share tidbits of your story on social media with photos of way back when…
  • Create videos of the happenings at your destination.
  • Teach your staff about your story and encourage them to share it with guests.
  • Have annual concerts or performances at your destination and tell your story through plays and music.

These are but a few of the millions of creative ideas you can use to tell your story. An exciting exercise for anyone who likes to explore new, creative opportunities.

Need some assistance on how to kick off your storytelling campaign? Contact Travelling Mystery Guest on 082 336 1562 / enquire@travellingmystery.co.za.

 

Getting off-line guests online

Have you noticed how many of your regular guests are not following you on social media? Some of them might be on Facebook or Twitter without following you, others might have profiles, yet they don’t use it and some might even not have a profile on social media. How do you get off-line guests to follow and engage with you on social media?

Here are a few tips and ideas to think about and PLEASE feel free to share your experience and expertise on this topic – we are here to assist each other! 🙂

Create awareness that you are on Twitter and Pinterest by inviting guests to follow you on these platforms with a small gift like this:

Twitter and Pinterest Biscuits

Twitter and Pinterest Biscuits

Create professional notice cards with details like your Twitter handle, Facebook link, Pinterest link and Google+ name to encourage guests to follow you on certain social media platforms. This will definitely also encourage guests to Tweet about your establishment while they are there, as you provide them with information allowing them to tag you.

Consider having a television screen in the foyer, displaying your Twitter stream all day long. This creates transparency, guests will be able to see that you are active on Twitter and they might also be encouraged to Tweet something in order to see their own name on the screen.

Create social media contests and promote them in printed media. This will allow people who are not following you on social media to consider liking or following your profiles.

Add your social media links or at least just the social media logos to your printed collateral – this will create awareness among guests who fill out your questionnaires, read your information files in the rooms, etc.

On arrival, ask guests if they are on Twitter, request their Twitter handles and welcome them at your destination online too. This will make them feel even more special and they will most definitely follow you back!

Create unique hashtags for certain events at your destination and ask the event manager to remind guests to use the hashtag when Tweeting about the event. Also ensure that your Twitter handle is visible during the event for when people want to follow and tag your destination.

Do you have any additional ideas on how to get off-line guests online? Feel free to comment below.

For more on this topic, book a workshop with Travelling Mystery Guest and lets get all South Africa’s hospitality and tourism establishments social savvy!

Contact Renate de Villiers on 082 336 1562 or enquire@travellingmystery.co.za for more information.

TMG Social Media Package

Wow…time flies when you’ve got a gazillion holidays in between. But, none the less, the show must go on, which is why we have a whole new Social Media Package for you!

This package includes Travelling Mystery Guest‘s social media management for your destination for 2 (or 3) months, as well as a free destination photography session, a monthly schedule and a monthly social media report. Should you book this social media service for 3 months, Travelling Mystery Guest will also offer you a free customer journey evaluation, which includes a mystery guest visit, a full report with suggestions and qualitative data for measurement purposes.

Social Media Management

Social Media Management

I would suggest that you take us up on this offer, as it is only valid until 31 May 2014 and it is valued, all and all, at a cost of R6500.00!

Please note that travel costs outside of Gauteng are excluded from this package.

Workshops for April

In addition to TMG’s current customer service workshops and the four social media sessions to attend, we also offer the next couple of workshops in April:

Create your own hotel wheel

We get creative in April and create our own hotel wheels. This is the process that keeps a hotel going – from security checks at the gate, reception, porters, room and restaurant service, through to guest feedback and departure. This process becomes quite intricate when you spend some time thinking about it – it might even end up looking more like the inside of a watch with all the different departments interlinking with each other. This is a great exercise to do with staff that needs to understand the inside of your business.

Create your guesthouse / hotel / restaurant’s own customized customer journey map

While the hotel wheel mainly focuses on the different departments of your business and how they interlink with each other, the customer journey map focuses on the customer’s journey through these different departments. The customer journey map teaches you more about your customers, including different target markets and their expectations, as well as your establishment’s shortcomings and what you should focus on to exceed customer expectations.

(Don’t forget that Travelling Mystery Guest specializes in customized customer journey evaluations. Contact Renate for a quote on enquire@travellingmystery.co.za / 082 336 1562).

Identify problem areas within the hospitality and tourism industry in South Africa

No industry is without problem areas – the same with the hospitality and tourism industries of South Africa. We look at some problem areas that TMG has encountered and identified and brainstorm about it. This session is mainly to see where the industry is lacking and what keeps it from exceeding its customers’ expectations. Come with an open mind, a pen and paper and let’s get to it.

Identify solutions to the problem areas in our hospitality and tourism industry

This is a follow up session to the one above. During this session we will brainstorm and discuss different solutions to the problems we’ve identified. From small things within your own organization to bigger things within the industry – we cover it all.

Book your workshop with Travelling Mystery Guest today – we come to you! Contact Renate on 082 336 1562 or enquire@travellingmystery.co.za. You can also follow her on Twitter (@TravellingMG and @RenateTravel) and Facebook: Travelling Mystery Guest. Also find TMG on LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest.

For more workshops, have a look at our list of workshops here: TMG Slideshare

Which Facebook posts encourage engagement?

It happens to all of us – you think this Facebook post is going to draw everyone’s attention and then in the end you are lucky if it got one like! But why? Which Facebook posts encourage engagement?

Facebook engagement

Facebook engagement (Image from: http://www.mikegingerich.com)

Your fans on Facebook wouldn’t be there if they didn’t want to follow or know more about your guesthouse, hotel or restaurant. The only challenge here is to give them what they want. Let’s look at a few need-to-knows when it comes to Facebook posts:

  • Not many people like commenting on posts that are full of errors and spelling mistakes. You wouldn’t either if you think about it.
  • Facebook is meant for socializing – speaking to your fans in a corporate tone isn’t going to get you any engagement.
  • Write your updates in Word or Excell (a program that has spell check). This might be an extra step, but rather safe than sorry.
  • Long updates lose readers. Keep your posts short and sweet and make sure that your link appears in front of the content.
  • Rather don’t use shortened links on Facebook. Shortened links may appear spammy so the chances that the reader will open the link are less.
  • Spice things up with images. Your fans will engage with your brand through images well whether it is funny, inspirational or promotional. (P.S. To make your pictures even more enticing, use PicMonkey, a free photo editing tool that lets you add text, overlays, frames and more).
  • Ask questions or create polls.
  • Give your fans a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes – wish one of your staff members a happy birthday and post a photo on Facebook, or congratulate a couple who just got engaged at your venue an post the photo on your page.
  • Offer fan-only perks. One of the main reasons people follow brands on social media is to be able to get to know about specials and promotions first. For example: Use a secret word that only Facebook fans would have seen that will ensure them a free drink before 20:00 that night.

These are but a few Facebook post tips that might increase engagement on your page. Be creative and think out of the box and you’ll see how your fans engage with you more often.

For workshops on the basics of social media, contact Travelling Mystery’s owner, Renate, on enquire@travellingmystery.co.za / 082 336 1562.

Follow Travelling Mystery Guest on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TravellingMysteryGuest