SOUTH-WEST tourism operators have been urged to promote their businesses with more testimonials and positive feedback from customers.
Communications guru Martin Grunstein told a Warrnambool conference that in a tough economic climate consumers needed reasons to justify their expenditure in all areas, including tourism.
“While it is important to tell people the product and service benefits you have, it is also important to tell them the non-product benefits of dealing with your company,” Mr Grunstein said.
“For example, your years of experience, what you give to the community, testimonials from satisfied customers.
“People make their decisions on more than just the product and price.”
He also encouraged operators to follow up customers with a phone call or thank-you card.
“It is critical to get the testimonials from these customers because their words will sell your business better than anything you can say about yourself,” Mr Grunstein said.
“While most people appreciate that tourism and hospitality is a people business, many don’t do these little personal touches that encourage people to come back and tell others to do so.”
He was one of several keynote speakers at the Innovating Business Tourism conference, organised by Shipwreck Coast Marketing.
It was designed to give south-west operators the chance to attend a top- quality seminar in their own region.
“If they went to a Melbourne conference with similar speakers they would probably pay triple the price,” Shipwreck Coast Marketing industry development officer Lauren Orero told The Standard.