How to delight your customers - 6 steps to deliver quality experiences

Bring back the ‘magic of multi day travel’ – move the customer experience from satisfaction to delight

‘In this changing landscape, travel companies that prioritise customer experience can gain loyalty, build resilience, and future-proof their businesses…’ https://www.mckinsey.com

Your goal is to deliver high quality tourism experiences for your clients. We really like the 3R model for customer service… this is the end goal you're trying to achieve

1.     Repeat – customers come back as a repeat customer.

2.    Review – customers review your company products and services highly.

3.    Refer – customers do your marketing for you by referring you on to their friends.

Delivering world class experiences that delight your customers is not difficult. But there are 6 key steps that will make this more effective.

 1.     Know your customer – your Avatar.

2.     Determine when and how you can interact with your customer on their journey.

3.     Build a relationship by listening to your customer

4.     Capture & store quality data

5.     Deliver personalised communications using fit for purpose technology

6.     Measure your NPS

Who is your Avatar?

Often referred to as your customer avatar or buyer persona. It’s essential to clearly define who your ‘ideal customer’ is, and who they are not. Knowing who your customer is includes base level information like their demographic characteristics, but also their psychographic behaviours, values and attitudes.

You can have more than one avatar, so put yourself in your customers shoes and build a profile for how they think, act and behave. This will help focus your product development, marketing and sales, as well as influence how you deliver personal service to these customers. https://keap.com/business-success

Get a FREE Avatar question template here

Get the 17 most important questions to help you understand who your customer avatar is.


Create a customer journey map

A customer journey map identifies all the interactions or touch points your customer has along their journey from first knowing about your product or service, right through to when they act as your brand ambassadors.

It is a measurable pathway of the experience they have with your company, your staff and the service provided. Knowing how your customers react at these touch points will help strengthen and add value to the customer experience.

Customers today expect these interactions to be seamless and highly personalised. You need data to be able to create this experience, and customers expect this data to be well protected. Having a purposeful CRM (the data) and system processes (the technology) to communicate at these touch points in a timely and meaningful way will enhance the customer journey.

Your task is to bring the service teams together to discuss their interaction with the customer and add their diverse perspectives. Then create a customer journey map for each of your Avatars. Next step is to develop the right content to send your customer (that’s another blog to come). https://www.salesforce.com

‘In a service sector such as tourism, customers attach great importance to the quality of services and experiences. They aren’t buying the product, they’re buying service, reception and customer relations…’ https://skeepers.io

To grow the customer experience -  start with the customer relationship

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems are essential to keep track of your customers data. A CRM is a system that enables you to collect, store and use customer data to deliver personalised messaging pre & post trip. For example your customer has hired a standard bike on a previous day trip…you can promote an upsell opportunity for an E-Bike on a multi day product with a timely, personalised and automated message. Or it could be as simple as delivering an automated email on their birthday. CRMs are effective systems that use customer data to create personalised interactions that add value to their experience.

Encourage your staff to be curious

The one thing we humans love is attention. On the day of departure look for one thing that you can do, say or create that engages personally with your customer e.g. like something about where they are from, are they a returning customer, find some way of teasing out their interests or their vocation. Your aim is to create a conversation piece to show you care and are genuinely interested in them as your customer. If you have this data at your finger tips in your CRM and summarised in a client manifest you’re half way there.

How do you currently store customer data?

Is it easily accessible and connected to your email communications?

Listen to your customer…
then capture the data

The best way to align your customer experience with your
customer expectations is to listen to your customer.

 When your reservation staff take a booking there’s often a lot of information provided by the customer. You need to make sure this gets from your reservation team to the operational delivery team. Often this is where things get unstuck. Reservations learn all about the customer, but often this information is diluted or not passed on to the operational staff who deliver the service in person. Having a streamlined management system that removes the silos between departments will ensure this data gets captured, is accurate and not assumed, and is easily accessible to all.

The Magic - understanding what your customers want without asking

Using the data in your CRM – you can build strong emotional & empathetic connections to your customers without them having to ask. The data you have collected from your customer journey can help you make suggestions for activities, destinations, promotions and new products. Communicating these ‘options’ to your customer shows you care for their interests.


Sending a reflection email on the anniversary of their past trip, or remind them of the quote they left from their previous experience… hopefully it’s good, and it inspires them to think again about another trip with your company. Remind them how that experience felt eg relaxing, energising, well rested, recharged…many people travel for the benefit of their well-being, but some of us need reminding to help look after it and to take action.


AI technology is in the travel industry now – so it won’t be too long before it will find its way into your business – in the meantime the best thing you can do is build data about your customers that will help you communicate effectively with them. And later on, if you choose to, you’ll be able to use this data to help predict behaviour, and more accurately engage with each of your customers.

Monitor your Customer Experience - what's your NPS?


The old saying – you can’t manage what you don’t measure is true with customer satisfaction.

The most commonly used method is the NPS system (Net Promotor Score). In simple terms this is a measure of customer experience - whether your customer would promote or detract your business, product or service on to someone else, say their best friend.

Use your Management System to ask your customers… ‘on a scale of 1 – 10 how likely are you to recommend us to a friend’. Don’t forget to leave space for comments and feedback.

How to bring this together so it’s efficient, timely and magical

Building a relationship with a customer is not difficult. It’s made easier by having management software like Odyssey that supports both personalised and digitalised approaches.

If you have a system that receives and stores valuable customer information, then you can easily and effectively communicate with your customers, showing them you care…now you’re well on the way to delighting them.

Al Check is the co-founder of OdysseyActive Tourism Management Software.

Al is also the Operations Manager for Cycle Journeys on the Great Taste Cycle Trail in Nelson, New Zealand. Cycle Journeys use Odyssey to deliver their customer experiences with ease and have an NPS of 90 (Average NPS Score NZ Travel & Leisure = 49)


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