It’s a nuisance when you’re chased around the internet with garish, generic and ubiquitous adverts thanks to retargeting. I was recently harassed online with adverts of my own car from the very same auctioning site I was trying to sell it on. As well as being annoying for me, it’s ineffective and counterproductive for the site.

Providing the best customer experience throughout the holiday booking process is, of course, essential but it doesn’t end there.

The customer experience should start both before the individual even considers booking a holiday, as well as months after they’ve returned and packed away their passport. Marketing and advertising campaigns are key to your customers’ relationship with your brand and their experience of your services.

Now more than ever, consumers expect to see highly tailored, engaging and content-rich advertising and marketing, especially now that many social media sites utilise algorithm-based news feeds. With the sophisticated CRM tools now available, companies have the opportunity to use customer data to better tailor their marketing.

The more you know about your customer, the more effectively you can tailor your campaigns. You don’t want to be chasing after a consumer who once clicked on a luxury romantic holiday to the Seychelles while daydreaming in the office when they have three kids at home begging for their next trip to Disneyland.

In the end, companies should use customer profiles to predict the type of content they will be genuinely interested in and engage with.

For example, if you know the budget for a family of four who went on a skiing trip last year and which extras they booked right down to their boot sizes, as well as the airport they like to travel from, you have the perfect opportunity to present a selection of tailored ideas for the next school holiday.

You could also keep them updated with special offers that match their profile so they start to welcome your newsletter, knowing it will include genuinely useful information for their individual needs. You may even be able to plant the seed to inspire them for their next holiday.

Crucially, once the customer does decide to return and book their next holiday with you, the data available is vital for continuing that relationship with them.

The sales teams should have quick access to all previous booking details including whether they have young children, specific dietary requirements, if they normally need sports equipment or car hire, or whether they like to pre-book activities.

Returning customers to any company, whether it be retailers or service providers, find it annoying to have to re-enter the same details each time. That extra personal touch goes a long way not only for a smooth customer experience but also for the business’ opportunity to secure the sale.

You should also learn from each booking based on the customer’s review. If there was an element of their holiday they didn’t like, take this into consideration. Learning from feedback will prevent the loss of future sales and avoid negative reviews. For example, if you are aware they didn’t like being surrounded by children on their previous holiday, recommend an adult-only resort.

Customers appreciate a sales representative that has their best interest at heart and makes recommendations that actually suit their needs. It also offers a new upselling opportunity as companies can use that data to tailor newsletters with offers for relevant travel extras.

It’s an exciting time to witness this evolution of customer engagement and personalisation. The shift in focus from customer acquisition to customer retention is cost effective, as it helps to reduce wasted marketing budget, and more appealing for the customer. Having the tools to capture the right data is essential for achieving the personalised approach that customers expect.

Increasingly, SMEs are turning to CRM tools as they become more financially viable and flexible – you don’t need to invest in a vast CRM system to be able to utilise some of the benefits of accessing that customer data. Get to know your customers and they’ll come back to you every time.

This article was originally posted on the Travolution website

Author: Adam Greghni, Managing Director at JFA Systems

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