The Customer Journey

It’s all about touch points.

Subconsciously we all rate our experiences all the time. Whether it is the drive to a destination, the arrival, an activity at a destination or even the departure, there’s always a score attached to it. Not necessarily a mark out of ten, but definitely a “yes, I’ll do that again”, “next time I’ll do it differently” or “no, I’ll never do that again!”

This is exactly what goes on in customers’ minds during visits to a specific destination. Every part of a customer’s experience adds to the overall assessment of their customer journey. The customer journey consists of different touch points where the destination has the opportunity to either impress or disappoint. These touch points often interlink with one another, like for example:

During the arrival phase of a customer’s journey, the ideal would be to be greeted and guided to the parking and reception by the security guard at the gate. This would be the first touch point between the customer and the destination (not omitting the previous post-stay touch points, i.e. visiting the destination’s website to find directions). If the security guard failed to live up to what the customers expected when arriving, this touch point would have been a negative experience. This is only one touch point within the customer’s journey, hence you understand how many opportunities a customer journey consists of for the destination to impress and exceed customers’ expectations.

Customer Journey Mapping

Customer Journey Mapping

The journey continues throughout the customer’s visit, whether it is a lunch at the restaurant or a stay over. The customer journey also does not end when the guest departs. Follow up phone calls, email communications, social media posts, likes and shares and Tripadvisor reviews all form part of the post-stay phase. This is why it has become very important for destinations to be just as active and pro-active online as their customers. The customer journey is not just face-to-face experiences anymore. It now includes telecommunication, written (and e-mail) communication, verbal and non-verbal communication, social-, digital and print media (marketing) and more. Therefore, it is very important for different departments to understand the customer journey, as these departments tend to interlink with each other on a regular, minute-to-minute basis. Reservations, sales and marketing work hand-in-hand to provide customers with the best possible deals. Front office, reception and security work together in ensuring that the check-in process runs smoothly. Marketing and food and beverage work together closely when it comes to the menus, specials, etc. Understanding the customer journey assists the different departments in helping each other to exceed customers’ expectations and to eliminate gaps within the customer journey where touch points are exposed to possible disappointment.

Travelling Mystery Guest offers workshops on customer journey mapping. Mapping out your destination’s customer journey will assist staff to understand their roles in the different touch points and to roll out the process on paper to see what a customer expects at certain times and places within the customer journey. No destination’s map will ever look the same, as not one destination offers the same experiences. Different customers will also lead to different customer journey maps, as no customer has the same expectations. Hence, during Travelling Mystery Guest’s workshops, the destination’s main type of customer is used as a prototype.

If you would like to learn more about your destination’s customer journeys, contact Travelling Mystery Guest today!

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Upcoming workshop: Communicating on different platforms

We’ve got exciting new workshops coming up and all will be hosted at the lovely, inviting Eagle’s View Guesthouse and Conference Venue in Little Falls, Roodepoort. Our full-day Communications Workshop will take place on Friday, 3 July 2015, with the option of combining it with a second half-day workshop on upselling that takes place on 4 July 2015. (Make it an outing and stay at Eagle’s View on the evening of 3 July 2015.)

 
The Communications Workshop will include:

 
Communicating verbally
– Opening and closing conversations
– Encouraging conversation
– Positive reinforcement of verbal communication
– Effective listening
– Questioning: Open and closed questions
– Reflecting and clarifying conversations
– Language and jargon usage
– Voice projection
– Self-confidence

 
Communicating non-verbally
– Importance of non-verbal messages
– In combination with verbal communication
– Body movements
– Posture
– Eye contact
– Para-language
– Personal space
– Facial expressions
– Physiological changes

 
Communicating in writing
– How writing has evolved
– Organising the message
– Using the right tone
– Be clear and concise
– Review and revise
– Basics of grammar and spelling
– Signatures
– Advantages and disadvantages

 
Communicating on social media
– Different platforms in South Africa
– Tagging and crediting
– Hashtags
– Professional VS friends and family
– Personal contact VS spreading news online
– Social media communication etiquette

 
Additional topics may still be added.

 

Other upcoming workshops include:

6 May 2015 OR 8 May 2015: Back by popular demand: The basics of social media for small businesses and individuals

3 June 2015: Create your company’s own customer journey map to get to know your customer

 
For more information, contact Travelling Mystery Guest on 082 336 1562 or enquire@travellingmystery.co.za.

We’re Hiring

We’re looking for a student who would be willing to assist with sales and marketing for Travelling Mystery Guest on a commission basis.

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Travelling Mystery Guest is based in Pretoria, marketing its Customer Journey Evaluations, Social Media Marketing and Workshops through the whole of South Africa. Current clients include BON Hotels, Protea Hotel Durbanville, LIFE Grand Cafe, Caramello’s and more.

 

The position is temporary, with the opportunity of becoming part of a very exciting, growing company in the tourism and hospitality industry.

 

Requirements:

Own transport, availability during the week to see prospective clients and to meet with the company’s owner for catch-up meetings and planning, a positive attitude, professionalism and a love for the hospitality and tourism industry.

 

For more information on the company, students are welcome to visit the website (www.travellingmystery.co.za) / they can follow the company on Facebook or Twitter (@TravellingMG).

 

Students who are interested can contact Renate de Villiers on 082 336 1562 / enquire@travellingmystery.co.za for an interview. CV’s are compulsory.

 

Prices for 2015

It’s exciting to say that 2015 is Travelling Mystery Guest’s second year of existence and we have been blessed with some great clients thus far. It is also a privilege to say that some of these clients have hired Travelling Mystery Guest on a long term basis, to evaluate their service standards monthly or quarterly.

Contact us today

Contact us today

 
Customer Journey Evaluations
(Similar to Mystery Guest Visits)
Restaurants R1500 (Including meals up to R500, excluding travel costs outside of Gauteng)
Guesthouses R2000 (Including accommodation and meals up to R750, excluding travel costs outside of Gauteng)
Hotels R2500 (Including accommodation and meals up to R1000, excluding travel costs outside of Gauteng)

 
Social Media Management
(Includes planning, scheduling and management of up to 4 social media platforms)
Monthly Planning & Scheduling R375.00 per hour (minimum 4 hours per month)

 
Training Sessions & Workshops
(We come to you)
Communicate with Customers R500.00 per person per half-day session (minimum 2 delegates)
The Hotel Wheel R500.00 per person per half-day session (minimum 2 delegates)
The Restaurant Wheel R500.00 per person per half-day session (minimum 2 delegates)
The Basics of Social Media R500.00 per person per half-day session (minimum 2 delegates)

 
If you are interested in getting to know more about what we do, feel free to contact Renate on 082 336 1562 / enquire@travellingmystery.co.za.

What if…you were me?

What if you were me?

I sometimes wonder how others would have handled certain situations. Emotionally people tend to differ a lot, especially when it comes to professional situations.

I’ve thrown myself into the deep end of a very deep swimming pool at the beginning of the year (but I have learned to keep my head above the water, although I still get tired sometimes), and never had I thought that I would be where I am today. Starting your own company during an economic crisis is not for sissies – I can tell you that much! But here I am…and I am still the owner of my dream company, Travelling Mystery Guest!

I’d like to know how you would have handled these three situations (which I’ve had to deal with this year) – perhaps we could learn from each other for the upcoming challenges, who knows?!

What if…

  1. You just started your own company and one of your friends asked you to offer him/her your workshops (which you’ve worked on for at least two months) at no cost?
  2. You had to move back into your parents’ home in order to decrease your expenses and then your siblings move back home too and now you’re one big happy family in one house again? (One thing is for sure – I appreciate them more and more every day!)
  3. You got an opportunity with one of the top companies in the industry, only to find out that they just want a barter deal and you actually really need the money?

Getting your company off the ground is not that easy. I have been told by many that a new company takes up to three years to break even. Well, even though this year has been tough, one thing is for sure:

“Never underestimate God’s grace or your family’s support. It’s what keeps you standing through the tough times.” –Renate de Villiers

TMG Workshop Bootcamp

Travelling Mystery Guest now offers destinations the opportunity to pick  workshops that they would like to attend in the form of a TMG Workshop Bootcamp!

Destinations can choose 4 workshops to include in their customized Bootcamp and pay only for 3. Where TMG‘s workshops are normally R500.00 per person, destinations can now pay only R1500.00 for a combination of 4 workshops.

Remember that Travelling Mystery Guest comes to you to present the workshops at your destination.

Here is a list of the current workshops destinations can choose from:

List of TMG Workshops

List of TMG Workshops

*Travel costs outside of Gauteng excluded.

Contact Renate de Villiers today to book your customized workshop bootcamp with TMG: enquire@travellingmystery.co.za / 082 336 1562.

Business or pleasure?

Is your establishment’s target market mainly guests who visit on business or pleasure?

As a hospitality and tourism industry expert, you probably don’t need me to explain to you why it is necessary to know your target market. The problem is, we get so used to our target markets, that we sometimes forget that they are also people, and people change.

As our environment, whether it be our technological or our physical environment, undergoes certain evolvements, we tend to change with it eventually. Therefore, as an accommodation establishment, restaurant or venue, it is important to keep up with trends in the industry.

Here are three trends TMG noticed feature in certain sections of the hospitality and tourism industry that you as a professional in the industry probably need to consider:

Environmental Responsibility:

This is not only a trend, but also a necessity. It has come to TMG’s attention that many travellers prefer accommodation at establishments that prove to be environmentally responsible. Guests are even willing to give up certain levels of comfort for this.

Kids entertainment:

Guests travelling for pleasure normally include families. Families often require some entertainment for children, which includes jungle gyms, swimming pools, and possible movie nights for when parents want to enjoy a romantic dinner. It is also important to remember that parents are well educated on this subject and therefore your establishment is automatically expected to provide them with service that will exceed their customer expectations. Think educational and try to include outside activities for kids. Take them on treasure hunts or short kids’ hiking trails. Use your environment and be creative.

Wi-Fi:

Businessmen are often on the road and with the fortunate evolvement of cell phones, computers and emails, many people unfortunately do the work of three or more by themselves these days. Wi-Fi has always been a luxury and not too long ago only top hotels and restaurants provided the service. Today, however, more and more hospitality and tourism establishments are adding this to their list of services and these establishments are the ones who become popular amongst business travellers especially very quickly. If business guests form part of your establishment’s target market and you do not provide your guests with Wi-Fi, you will need to revise your list of services.

For more tips and ideas on how to exceed your customers’ expectations, perhaps you should contact TMG and attend one of our workshops? Contact Renate on 082 336 1562 or enquire@travellingmystery.co.za for more information.