Don’t just wait for the phone to ring.
Do you look for ways to stay productive during slow season? Slow season for many travel agents usually hits sometime in the fall and continues through the holidays. This can vary, of course, depending on what type of travel services you offer and who your clients are. Because of the dynamic nature of the travel industry, it is important to take advantage of your slower seasons, using the time to focus on other aspects of your business that sometimes get overlooked.
Here’s how to be more productive during slow season:
1. Attend a conference
Travel conferences provide an excellent way to stay updated on industry news, network, and relax! If you belong to a consortium or a host agency, they may host national or regional events for suppliers and agents to connect. Here are some great B2B travel conferences to check out for this year or next!
- ASTA Global Convention
- Cruise 360
- Cruise World Show
- Las Vegas Travel Agent Forum
- NACTA Annual Conference
- Travel Industry Exchange
USTOA Annual Conference & Marketplace
If you’re browsing exhibits, look for Centrav! We attend many of these conferences as well!
2. Get customer feedback
Are you struggling to figure out what your customers want and need? Send out a customer survey to identify your strengths and weaknesses.
- What are their top priorities for travel?
- What are their fears?
- How can you make the booking process smoother for them?
- What kind of content do they want to see on your website and social media?
Your survey should be short and direct, hitting on your most important questions and leaving room for additional comments or thoughts. Consider offering a small giveaway along with your survey to increase participation. Most importantly, don’t forget to actually look at your results and create an action plan for improvements!
3. Work on a marketing plan
You might be able to “get by” pretty well on referrals alone, but if you really want to bring your agency to its full potential, develop a marketing plan. How do you market yourself as a travel agent? Start by reading our marketing guide here. It might seem overwhelming at first — it’s ok! Just start somewhere and continue to build your plan as your resources grow.
4. Give your website a refresh
Websites need to be updated pretty frequently. Yes, the design or “look” of the website is important, but it’s much more than that. Does your website rank well on Google? Do you have clear calls to action? Is it mobile-friendly? These are just a few considerations you should reassess with your website on a regular basis.
5. Build your social strategy
After making improvements to your website, it’s time to take a look at your social strategy. Your social platforms will help drive traffic to your website and give you a powerful medium to interact with current and potential customers. If you’ve never delved into the world of social media marketing, there are many awesome resources to get you started. Look for a conference such as the Digital Travel Summit or check out these webinars hosted by Hootsuite.
6. Create a referral program
Good old fashioned word-of-mouth referrals are a powerful way to gain new clients. A positive recommendation from your happy customers helps build credibility for your company. You can do this by creating incentives, through your social media channels, or simply working it into conversations. The important thing is to be intentional!
7. Invest in your team
If your agency is large enough to have a team of agents, now is the time to encourage and invest in them. Boost your office morale with these fun, team-building activities or offer opportunities for them to further their industry education through webinars, books, and events.
It can be hard to get away when you know your clients may still need your support. But regular travel is so important for you to stay relevant and energized for the job! Go somewhere you’ve never been and do something you’ve never done!