No matter what your business or how big your marketing budget, there's one thing that you're probably not doing enough. It's always important, and thanks to Covid is now even more essential.
Everyone needs reassurance. We need it in different ways, but we all need it.
When some one doesn't buy or book something, it's easy to assume they either don't like what you do or your prices are too high. More often these are not the reasons. They're not sure, or they lack information. A little reassurance can go a long way and make a big difference to your marketing.
How do I know? It's something I've studied and experimented with, over three decades. I've helped clients to add a few simple words of reassurance to their marketing copy, on websites, social media, in person - and they've often been amazed at what a difference it makes. A subtle change or the addition of a few words could make you a lot of money.
The sentence above is true, but I also added it as an example. When you read the start of this article you might not have totally believed me when I said that reassurance is important. You may well have been questioning the validity of that statement or what I even know about it. So I added some reassurance about my experience, and about the results businesses can achieve by implementing my advice. Can you do the same in your business?
Think about some of the questions you might subconsciouly ask yourself before you buy anything. It could be a quick "is it good value for money?", "will it taste good?", "will I really enjoy it" or "will my family want to do that?". Before booking somewhere to stay we may ask, "is there enough to do in the area?", or "will it be comfortable?". Thinking through such questions and considering visitors' potential concerns can help you provide more information and reassurance.
Consider each page of your website and the sort of questions anyone might ask. What might visitors concerns be? What additional (not so much you over face people - usually a couple of sentences are enough) information could you add to reassure potential visitors? Do you need more images to show them? Have you included reviews on your website instead of sending people off to another site?
Reassurance about re-opening
We normally want to feel reassured that places will be clean. Now safety is paramount.
There's no question that people are ready to travel again and want to plan their trips and holidays. Most will wait until it's really safe to do so, but they're already dreaming and thinking about what they'd like to do. Our challenge will be to make sure we take advantage of that pent-up demand and secure bookings and visits. Building consumer confidence through the right kind of reassurance is gong to be more important than ever before.
What can you do?
Once you've looked at every angle of your business and how you can make it feel safer (see below for more information), think of the different questions visitors may have. You might want to make a note of how you'll answer those questions, and list out all the things you're doing/done to keep visitors safe.
Communication will be just as important as the actions you take. Make sure you're open and honest about everything you do and plan to do. If you don't know the answer to something, it's better to say so than to take a gamble.
Consider how you can communicate your plans with visitors, both in advance and when they arrive. Think about the different types of reassurance they might need. For example, some people will be concerned with physical measures and cleanliness. Others may be more worried about booking if they think they can't get their deposit back if something happens.
Explain all the infection control plans you will follow. A brief video can be very effective. It doesn't have to be polished - showing that you're a human who cares is better than a glib promotional film.
Inside your business it's a good idea to make your cleaning schedules visible and clear, perhaps with a poster or note.
Where to get more information and advice
As my family will tell you, I'm no cleaning or safety expert so please don't ask me about the best cleaning routines or where to get PPE (I've had a lot of emails on these topics which I'm afraid I just can't answer!). However, there is a lot of help available, and some additional guidance about to come on stream.
Quality in Tourism have already added to their existing inspection schemes with a Covid-ready Safe Clean Legal scheme.
VisitBritain/VisitEngland are now consulting with the industry ready to create a visitor reassurance kite-mark for use across the tourism industry. They expect this to be ready in early June and it will be free of charge. You will be able to find information about this when it's ready along with plenty of other industry information on their website.
Hospitality Industry Training have published this helpful guide. UK Hospitality are now also working on protocols and guidance which will be published soon.
See also this guidance on carrying out a workplace Covid risk assessment. There is some government guidance on cleaning.
Please note: all articles are copyright Susan Briggs 2021
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All articles on this site are copyright Susan Briggs, The Tourism Network Ltd 2021
Email Susan Briggs
The Tourism Network Ltd, The Old Mill, Millgate, Masham, HG4 4EZ
Tel: 07768 365591