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At the San Diego Zoo — where animal tours run all day, every day — there's one tour guide who generates rave reviews: Chris Clobber, better known as “Zooman." If you Google him, you'll find comments calling him “hilarious," “fabulous," and “amazing." He's so loved that he's even earned his own show at a local comedy club, and if you watch one of his tours, you'll see why.

People describe Zooman's tour as “the best they have ever had" — words that carry significant weight for tourists who are planning their next weekend adventure. In creating a name for himself, Zooman brings one-of-a-kind marketing value to the San Diego Zoo.

And with 74 percent of consumers identifying word of mouth as a key influence in their purchase decisions, it's critical for all businesses to create incredible experiences. Tour and activity operators, especially, are uniquely positioned to create an emotional connection with customers.

Luckily, you don't need to be a stand-up comedian to make a lasting impression. Whether you’re running a thriving local business or just getting started, we’re ready to help.

See Also: 5 Strategies to Generate Customers Before Peak Season

Offer a unique perspective no other business can replicate.  

The best way to stand out from your competitors is to identify what differentiates your business, and make it a core part of the experience you provide. For example, take the Chinatown Ghost Tour, a walking tour that dives deep into San Francisco's history by taking groups through the lesser known streets of Chinatown. What makes the tour truly memorable is the tour guides' own supernatural experiences and references to folklore. Their captivating stories of Chinatown’s history has earned the tour coverage in local media like The Examiner and the San Francisco Bay Crossings.

For more inspiration, take a look at Bhagavat Life's vegetarian cooking class in New York. In addition to teaching culinary skills, the class offers new perspectives on how people can think about food in making healthier life choices. Participants learn about Ayurveda, a 5,000-year old system of natural medicine from India, and how to apply its principles to any type of cuisine.

How to stand out in a crowded market

This depth of education that extends beyond cooking skills leaves a lasting impression among customers, which in turn generates strong referrals and word-of-mouth. Offering a unique experience like this will help you build an organic growth engine for your business

ASK YOURSELF:

How can you give your customers a more personal, behind-the-scenes look into your world? What are the most interesting stories or unique lessons you can share?

Give customers a way to relive and share the best part of their experience.

It's not every day that a person gets to climb a mountain, try a flying trapeze, take a cheesecake-making class, or go on a safari. The thrill of a new life experience is something that happy customers will want to share with their friends and family.

You can capture your customers’ experiences with a GoPro camera, and later, upload their photos and videos to your website. By doing so, you create a platform where customers can easily share content with their friends and family — in other words, a low-touch system for free word-of-mouth marketing.

Skydive Taft is a California-based skydiving school that features videos of customers' free falls on its YouTube channel (with permission). This not only encourages those customers to share the videos, but allows prospective customers to preview what their experience would be like.

ASK YOURSELF:

What is the one part of your experience that customers would relive if they could? Is there anything you can do to capture it for them?

Need help brainstorming ways you can apply these ideas to your business? You can email Ashmi Pathela, ZOZI’s Senior Marketing Manager, at ashmi@zozi.com for a free consultation.

You might also like: The Essential Ingredient for Building a Successful Tour Business

If you're looking for a solution that will both save you hours in your day and give you that extra marketing edge to attract quality customers, check out ZOZI Advance here. You can request your free 10-minute demo here to explore how it can be a fit for your business.