If you were to take on a new employee, you would invest in them, right? You’d give them all the proper tools required for their job, make sure they’re fully trained on what they need to do and you’d regularly check in with them to make sure they are keeping up with what is expected of them – and it should be no different for your website.
Your tourism website needs to:
- Have the proper tools to ensure it can take bookings or enquiries, subscribe users to your email database or show off your amazing reviews;
- Be a repository of relevant and helpful information that is required by your customers to commit to booking with you;
- Be regularly measured and assessed to ensure that it’s performing the way that you expect it to.
So, why do so many tourism operators undervalue or neglect their website? Especially when it has the potential to be their business’s best employee? In this article, we’ll look at three reasons why you need to treat your website as your most important employee and what are the consequences of undervaluing it.
3 reasons your website is your most important employee.
The return on investment you will see from treating your website as your number 1 staff member is massive when you consider how much you will spend on it compared to taking on a new staff member.
- A professional tourism website for a small-mid level operator should cost somewhere between $3K – $15K+.
- A full-time staff member will cost you at least $50K+
Our advice is to invest in your website as early on in your business to maximise the long-term return on investment, when there are minimal overheads, like actual staff members.
Here are 3 reasons your website will always be your best employee.
It’s always ready to answer your customers’ questions.
If you spend the time upfront and also time every month or two updating the content on your site, then it will be able to answer every one of your customers’ questions.
But answering the questions is just one part. Your website needs to guide the customer to find these answers without becoming frustrated and needing to pick up the phone or send you a message. After all, customers are somewhat lazy and won’t go hunting for information, it needs to be easy to find and easy to understand.
If you notice lots of customers are asking similar questions, then it’s likely that this piece of information is missing from your site. Update your site and refer to it, so you don’t spend your valuable time fielding repeat questions.
It’s always on brand and shows your business in a good light.
Unlike a physical staff member, who might not wear the correct uniform or speak to the customer in the right tone, you have complete control of how your brand is presented to your ideal customer with your website.
Invest the time and effort in making sure your website speaks directly to the type of customers you want to visit your business. If you don’t know who your ideal customer is then you need to take a step back and figure this out. Here’s a useful article that will help you identify your ideal customer and how to attract them to your business.
It’s always ready to take online bookings.
The ability to take online bookings through your website is the lifeblood of a thriving tourism business. Customers shouldn’t have to wait until business hours to call and book, or worse wait for a response to online form enquiry. Integrating an intuitive online booking platform on to your website will allow your customers to purchase from you at any time of the day or night.
If you’re not quite ready to implement an online booking system, make sure you spend some time thinking about how your customers will make an enquiry through your website. You might want to consider:
- Outlining a process and establish timeframes for getting back to people.
- Setting up email automation to inform customers their enquiry has been received and someone will be in touch with a specified timeframe.
- Offering different ways for customers to enquire, including:
- Website Contact Form
- Website Chat Bot
- Facebook messenger
- Phone Number or SMS Number
Why would you try to cheap it with your website?
The temptation can be to spend as little money and effort on your website and just get something up. But would you do the same with a staff member, would take someone on and then tolerate them not doing their job properly, or not provide them with adequate training and support to the job you’ve hired them for?
The role of your website is simple:
- Provide customers with information about your business;
- Promote your business as the best option for your ideal customer; and
- Generate a steady stream of online bookings or enquiries.
If your site is not doing any of these things you’ve got a problem. We can help identify where the gaps are in your website, and let you know how you stack up compared to your competitors. Send us a message to see how we can help.