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How a tour company listens to their community to drive growth and revenue
They actively listen to their community to enable community-led growth
I am a big advocate for listening to your community, but for most people the work may stop there. They listen and hear what is being said, and they may do something about it or they may not.
From experience, I know there is more. One has to take what they've heard and apply it. The community has to see it actively applied, if not to them you haven't listened. And if you community feels like you aren’t listening to them, they will stop talking, sharing and helping you grow your business.
To show what happens when a company actively listens—when a company listens and actively applies what is shared, I'd like us to listen to Bukola, the WakaWaka.ng community manager. While they no longer go by the name WakaWaka, I love it as it truly shows what their business is about. Now they are called HappyOrange.
How HappyOrange keeps their customers happy and loyal
Community management is a vital tool for growth in the travel and tour industry, and the key to success lies in active listening. As a community manager at Happy Orange (a travel and tour company) for over two years, I've learned that insight into your product becomes readily available with active listening.
Active listening is simply the practice of truly hearing and understanding what your customers are saying, and using that feedback to improve your products or services. Insight is king, and there is no such thing as actively listening too much to your users, community or audience.
But why is active listening so important? Let me share some examples from our own real world experience.
1. The Power of Feedback
Speaking of feedback, at Happy Orange, we once launched a package deal for a weekend getaway to Lakowe Lakes Resort. Sadly, the numbers weren't as high as we had hoped. Instead of burying our heads in the sand, we decided to reach out to our community members for feedback. They helped us learn exactly what we needed to change! We made the change, and before we knew it, we got more than our planned numbers!
We learnt that the timing of the trip was not ideal for most of our clients, this was a relatively small change, but the impact was big for us. The trip exceeded expectations by having x2 the project number of clients for the trip.
By simply listening to our audience and making changes based on their feedback, we were able to improve our offering and increase revenue.
But that's not all. Have you ever heard of the phrase "The customer is always right"? It's important to remember that your clients are the ones who use your product and have the most valuable insights.
Here is a review from Bolaji, who attended the trip to Lakowe Lakes Resort.
“It was nice meeting you all, despite our individual differences we made such memories which we won’t be forgetting in a hurry. It’s love from this side.”
By creating a feedback process, you show that you value their opinion and are willing to make changes to improve their experience.
2. The Value of a Loyal Community
At Happy Orange, we have developed a thriving community of loyal clients who are passionate about sharing their travel experiences and promoting our brand. Through this community, I learned how exclusive offerings can help increase loyalty. Let me share a story to show this.
One particular client, who we will refer to as Dee for privacy reasons, had taken multiple trips with Happy Orange and expressed a desire for a place to connect with fellow tour enthusiasts and receive exclusive information. Taking this feedback to heart, we decided to create a community for like-minded individuals.
This community quickly grew, and we began providing exclusive information and deals to our members. Not only did this foster a deeper sense of brand affiliation and loyalty among our clients, but it also led to a significant increase in returning clients.
As a result of actively listening, we were able to decide what kind of community we should create, what type of information we should share, where to distribute the information, and when to share it.
3. Personalised Active Listening
At Happy Orange, we believe that active listening is a crucial part of community management. One example of how we put this into practice was when we received valuable feedback from a member of our community who had recently taken one of our tours.
While the client had a great time overall, they mentioned that they had some difficulty navigating transportation in the area. This feedback gave us the opportunity to improve our tour packages and enhance the onboarding process.
As a result, we provided our clients with more detailed transportation instructions and clearer communication, which we then shared with our community members. We thanked them for their feedback and let them know that we were always looking for ways to improve their experience.
The response from our community was overwhelmingly positive. Our clients appreciated the personalised attention and care that we provided. They also mentioned they would be recommending our tours to their friends and family. This resulted in an increase in brand affiliation and a significant increase in returning clients.
I really like the HappyOrange story, these days they no longer spend as much on ads on Instagram or Facebook, they use their activated communities on WhatsApp for marketing. When they share tours and events, the customers keep booking and rebooking, inviting their friends and helping HappyOrange grow with their community.
If you are interested in learning how to achieve Community-led Growth like HappyOrange or would like your own personal Community-led Growth coach, I can help you.
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