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ZOZI Advance is the fastest growing web-based reservation, payment, and customer management platform used by thousands of activity, tour, and event merchants.

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Stephanie White

Muscling through the plethora of web-based information can easily become overwhelming, confusing, and, ultimately, defeating. After all, a study highlights that the average attention span of a human being has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013—one second less than the attention span of a goldfish. In other words: not very long.

One way to cut through the clutter is with infographics—an ingenious tool for businesses to relay data and trends, and capture that fleeting attention. Whether you're using infographics to gain insight or market your business, activity and tour operators can rely on this type of communication to quickly absorb or portray the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.

The following infographics serve a two-fold purpose for activity and tour operators: Firstly, each takes a look at today's consumers and represents a "W"; secondly, these can inspire tour operators to create infographics and social media content that entice people to read, share, and act upon.

Who are your consumers?

Infographic: Meet Mike Your Consumer in 2015

Source: Reuven Gorsht

Source: Reuven Gorsht

Tour operators must understand the modern customer, their behaviors, and their expectations. This infographic is a telling snapshot, containing quantified data that provides insight to the consumer persona. "Mike," always connected, will seek authenticity and value when considering vacation plans. A pop-up advertisement does nothing for him; he will go directly to the online source to learn more. More importantly, he will then analyze others' opinions and online reviews, before making a decision.

Here's how tour operators can hook a guy like Mike. Remember, he's always connected, which means he's barraged with data. He doesn't like interruptions while mining information, so speaking to him should flow seamlessly:

  • Use splashy images. He'll refer to your competitors before he decides on you, so your site and use of social media platforms must be eye-catching.

  • Include testimonials. He needs validation to make a final decision and will consult various reviews before purchasing, so ensure he's hearing from people like him – your clientele.

  • Tell him everything. Employ the 5 W's succinctly in your messaging. Mike likes immediacy and your truths will earn his trust.

Understanding who Mike is and how he will venture from point A to B is valuable knowledge for tour operators. Your journey starts by hooking Mike and leading him to a destination where he books with you. Mike's purchase decisions are also largely influenced by immediate product availability. So, having the online tools to accept bookings will definitely encourage action.

What are your customers doing?

Infographic: 5 Data & Mobile Trends in Travel

Source: Eye for Travel

Source: Eye for Travel

What your customers are doing circles back to knowing who your customers are. Both are important factors impacting how you run your travel operation. This picturesque volume of information in a nutshell affirms that "Mike" won't let an hour pass without checking his mobile device. Activity and tour operators take note: the Mikes of the world are changing the face of online reservations. Today's consumers want to book online 24/7 from any device, and then spread the word about what they're up to via social media platforms.

The takeaway for tour operators from this infographic: how to secure customers like Mike and keep them. This is achievable with a mobile accessible and friendly website and booking platform with connectivity to other social media outlets. Mike's profile states he is extremely loyal and not afraid to show it via Twitter or Instagram. Activity operators can capitalize on that with:

  • Real time updates. Through social media channels, keep clients engaged with updates, immediate feedback and support to build brand trust.

  • Embedded links. Customers like to share their experience so including links to the latest news or exciting event will encourage sharing and build a community of enthusiastic followers.

  • Incentives and rewards. Discounts for follow-up bookings or rewarding customer survey feedback will gain loyalty.

When should you talk to your costumers?

Infographic: What are the Best Times to Post on Social Media?

Source: Quick Sprout

Source: Quick Sprout

Like most companies these days, you probably have a looming question: when to best leverage social media channels to engage customers and reach prospects. What are the Best Times to Post on Social Media? is an infographic that really speaks to this. You already know Mike's affinity to his mobile device—it's intimate. And, if he's a social follower of yours, you want him posting, liking, re-tweeting, and providing commentary whenever possible. There are some days of the week and some times of day proven to optimize action, so plan to reach consumers like Mike and your stakeholders on their terms. Not only should activity and tour operators have comprehensive social media plans, but also a solid understanding of the difference between connecting with other businesses versus reaching customers.

With widespread communication today, consumers are exposed to compelling messages every minute. In the wrong hands or at the wrong time, the information is useless. In addition to knowing who you want to see your message, and what you hope they will do with it, maximize your opportunity by knowing exactly when to reach them. Social media platforms have specific data trends that can assist marketers in targeting as well as executing coordinated messaging across various networks:

  • B2B. Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn are a great way to connect with other businesses within the travel and tourism industry through the weekdays. If you're looking for a re-tweet, post just before 5:00 pm when most commuters are catching up on social media.

  • B2C. Engage customers and enhance click through rate by posting on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest late in the week or on weekends. 1:00 pm is consistently a good time on these platforms to glean shares and likes.

Where are your consumers?

Infographic: Travel Myths Debunked: New Survey Reveals Surprising Shifts In Travel Industry

Source: MMGY Global

Source: MMGY Global

This infographic explores where Mike thinks about going and how his demographic largely influences the travel industry. Moreover, Boomers and GenXers are not only fueling the economy but also bucking traditional travel trends.

Keeping atop of trends and social media outlets will have a synergistic outcome for activity and tour operators. Disposable income, the latest apps, and more leisure time is allowing demographics across the board the freedom to discover new travel opportunities and/or enjoy types of travel they once thought unaffordable. Here's how you can facilitate:

  • Payment Options. Appeal to all demographics with cashless payment options. Using an online booking platform provides prospects with a number of quick ways to convert to consumers.

  • Social Media. Ensure your social media platforms engage travelers. Their feedback will inspire new business and retain current customers.

Why does customer experience matter?

Infographic: Voice of the customer: It's Time for a Global Customer Experience Wakeup Call

Source: SDL

Source: SDL

The final W asks why. The answer is "for Mike." Examine the Voice of the Customer: It's Time for a Global Customer Experience Wakeup Call, and you'll have powerful reasoning to adhere to communications basics, while adapting to ever-changing social conditions. Your livelihood is dictated by the economy and the weather—those you cannot control. What you can control is keen understanding of your demographic(s) and the external influences that define their activities and behaviors.

Mike can take away potential customers in a negative tweet faster than he will glean customers on your behalf with endorsements. As a service provider, travel and tour activities must be ready to troubleshoot and provide excellent customer service or deal with adverse consequences:

  • Enable your staff. Train them to solve problems and provide them with the resources they need to succeed. The top failures are process related, so implementing software like an online booking platform will help your staff create great customer experiences from the get-go.

  • Leverage technology. Keep information up-to-date and audit regularly to ensure staff are always prepared to manage situations. Use technology to help you manage rentals, events, activities and tours to ensure no conflicts arise, taking away from a solid customer experience.

Final Thoughts

What have we learned about Mike? WHO: He's an avid mobile user who will research his options thoroughly before purchasing and then report on his experience; he likes to be engaged and is brand loyal. WHAT: He likes easy access, a one stop information mecca, and – the truth. WHEN: Mike's on his mobile constantly, but has certain times he'll provide a favourable reaction. WHERE: He will book his destination from his mobile and is open to experiencing both traditional and creative travel and tourism options. WHY: Understanding Mike is so important because it allows activity and tour operators to know how best to reach, engage, communicate and compel him to take action. The end result can be an endorsement of your service, customer loyalty and new customers.