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5 word of mouth tips from travel agents

In conjunction with KarryOn, roomsxml has just ran its fifth travel agent development workshop on word-of-mouth marketing.

In conjunction with KarryOn, roomsxml has just ran its fifth travel agent development workshop on word-of-mouth marketing.


Every time we run a workshop we make tweaks to improve the event – whether it be on the food, drink, the timing, the location or the topic.

This time around we worked hard with Martin Bailey to make it very specific for travel agents with a greater focus on interactivity.

Image: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

Image: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

Presenters Top Five Recommendations

You can view the workshop here as well as the entire version of KarryOn founder, Matt Leedham’s presentation here.

Our top five?

  1. Great WOMM – user experience, their words, honest, customer preferred
  2. Find out who is recommending you, why, what is important to them
  3. Give the messages to your customers they way they want to hear it, in customer speak
  4. Determine your most profitable pax/ destinations and market to them
  5. Ask for feedback and use it.


Agents’ Top Five Recommendations

Through a combination of taking notes, the feedback forms and then follow-up emails, it was fascinating to see what travel agents told us were the key take-away’s.

They include:


1. WOMM is relevant to travel

  1. Would you recommend this workshop to a colleague?
  2. 100 percent of attendees replied yes

Why did all of these agents say they would recommend the workshop to other agents?

  • Because it was a bloody great night
  • One of the presenters wore a very sexy t-shirt
  • Because great WOMM comes from sharing emotion and experience – travel is all about both


2. The power of the promo

“Stress balls are the worst promo item.”

It was established that the best promo items were those that triggered memory at the time of purchase. Nothing really surprising there.

But the best sale-triggering items or giveaways were those that had nothing to do with travel.

The best was from an agent who had numerous big blue-chip postcode clients.

She sends them subscriptions for non-travel lifestyle magazines that feature amazing destinations and often they come back with queries to visit places in the mags.


3. Personal referral versus any other form of marketing

“Always good to be reminded of what is important when marketing oneself.”

One prompt was the recent roomsXML marketing material on room type clarifications.

We then showed a 50 word testimonial from a travel agent who landed $7,700 sale with us because the system upgrade was done and it was easy to book the exact room type as the hotel website.

Every agent was won over by the testimonial. Yet most agreed that their marketing investment is going to everything but word-of-mouth marketing.


4. We need to know how to write content

“Very valuable and nice to have someone understand what I need to improve.”

Matt Leedham from KarryOn appeared as a guest via video. On it he discussed what it takes to create good content.

A large majority of attendees specifically said they had deficiencies in this area and would love to have more guidance. Have a look at Matt’s presentation here.



5. The little things that make the big difference

“Great to be reminded that simple steps can make a big difference.”

My final question to the group was “can I call you next week and see what you did”.

Normally when you ask agents for participation they s#$t themselves and run away to a corner.

That evening they all happily said ‘yes’.

That’s because word-of-mouth is the cheapest marketing, which when it returns, does so with a fantastic multiplier.

It is super cheap to ask for a written recommendation.

It is really easy to ask ‘can we use that feedback’.

It costs nothing to include in an email and also statically speaking, way more likely to generate a result.

So, what are your word of mouth recommendations?