Not all tourists are the same. To prove it we did a search on Booking.com for 14 nights in Gros Islet, St Lucia. The cheapest accommodation for two adults was £451 and the most expensive was £23,074.
Ok, at the top end was a villa that slept 12, but the most expensive room for two people was £8,309. That difference is huge! It tells you something you need to remember – not all tourists are the same.
Some are regular travellers and visitors to St Lucia with the funds to pick and choose where and when they travel. Others may also be regular visitors, but they come after saving up for a year to have their special holiday in a favourite place.
You may be thinking this is all pretty obvious.
Sometimes it’s easy to tell if someone is wealthy, sometimes it’s not. The fact is, how much they have to spend doesn’t really matter as much as you think it does.
The most important differences are not, how much a prospective tourist might have in their pocket, it’s their motivation.
People travel for all kinds of reasons, but it’s usually safe to assume that tourists are interested in the places they visit.
Turkey in the winter
The owner of a small family-run hotel in Turkey, once told me that he respected all of his guests. They were paying him money for a good experience, he understood that. His family all worked really hard to make sure they did – we certainly did!
Then he said that he respected and liked the guests who tried to learn a word or two of Turkish, just that little bit more. Thankfully, we’d already made the effort to learn the basics and returned many times to stay at the same place.
Every time we went, we had a different experience. We visited familiar and different places. Most of the time we went to relax, but after the first couple of times we wanted to see more of what is a remarkable country, with wonderful friendly people.
Any regular visitor to Turkey increases their chances of fantastic service if they learn a few words of Turkish. It’s a very difficult language, but ‘meharba’ is easy. If you can crack, ‘Nasılsınız’ and ‘İyiyim, teşekkür ederim’ – it’s all good.
We know you’re not looking to make friends of all your customers – but in a way, that’s just what you’re doing.
Make connections with people that lead to sales
One of the things people really like to do is make some kind of connection. Whatever the business – selling scarves on the beach, fishing trips, three course meals or snacks – people remember good experiences. They share them, talk about them, they want them again.
Make it memorable – for the right reasons
People often remember experiences that may have nothing to do with your service or product. If bad weather hits and affects the departure time of a boat trip, those who’ve booked the service will remember how the business owner communicates what happens next, if people will get their money back or can return another day, and so on.
You have to create a good experience of your product. If your business is car hire, it should be a hassle-free, quick experience. The car has to work just the way the customer expects it to – people won’t give you a second chance!
Search your business regularly. The customer who might have seemed unhappy a few weeks ago, may have taken revenge and added your business to a review site to warn off others! Even if they were unreasonable, it could hurt your reputation to leave it online unchallenged, especially if your online presence is limited. Have a look at online reviews at least monthly and respond to people whether they’re nice or not!