Help meet their needs while simultaneously increasing your farm revenue - with Agritourism
This online resource will teach you how.
You must treat your customers like they are everything...because, they are. Knowing that fact and acting accordingly can be two different stories though. Here are some suggestions to help you make sure your customers are pleased and that they return and spread a good word for you.
Think about when you go on a trip, be it local or far away. What do you want? You want to escape from reality. You want to de-stress. When you go to a hotel, you wish to be treated like a queen or a king. When you visit Disneyland, you want to be in a fantasy land, far, far away. The hospitality and tourism industry holds to high standards.
The good thing about establishing a great “get away” is that they are in big demand and they always will be. Families need to bond. People need to forget about the hustle and bustle of life for a day. They will want more of what you have to give and will tell others about you as well.
People, people and more people
Tourism is about people. And, it’s about pleasing people. You and those on your staff will need to make sure that happens or your business won’t last long. Some ways to take good care of your customers is to:
- Smile. A smile goes a long way and to some, if you are not smiling, you are frowning. Smiles are contagious so...smile up.
- Greet. Every time a customer enters your place, be sure that they are personally greeted. Likewise, each time a customer exits, be certain they are properly thanked for coming.
- Available. You will want to designate someone to be available for questions and concerns any visitor might have. Or, you will need to do so yourself.
- Name tag. Be sure you and your team wear name tags. It adds a personal touch and is a good show of accountability as well.
- Reviews. Ask your visitors to write reviews about your business, online or elsewhere. First, make sure if they have any negative feedback that it is addressed to you or a staff member so a solution can be found.
- Complaints. If a customer has a complaint, go to whatever lengths are necessary in order to resolve the issue, even if they are in the wrong and you are in the right. Give them a free pass, refund their money, whatever you can do...do it.
- Toss your name around. “Welcome to Alpaca Today,” is much better than a simple, “Hello.” Plus, it is great advertising.
- Extremists. More than likely you will have to deal with an extremist or two. It might be an animal activist who feels that keeping a fence around your llamas to protect them is a sin. Some may not agree with you eating, and possibly selling, eggs that come from your chicken. If your produce is not organic, you will no doubt have those who protest. Have a respectful answer under your hat so you can reply to them with respect while not giving in to their accusations of abuse or whatever the case at hand might be. A soft reply turns away wrath. Be sure your staff members and family members are prepared to do the same as well.
- Phones. Be sure that anyone and everyone who answers the phone at your place of business does so by identifying themselves and your business and has a very positive and helpful attitude. Also, if you are going to give a phone number, do be sure someone answers it or in the worst case scenario, get back to those who call in a timely manner.
- Websites. Even the most old-fashioned farms have websites. These days, most all legitimate businesses do. You will want to have a great site as your website will reflect how your business is, good or bad. If you are not a computer guru, see if someone in your family would like to handle the site. If not, hire someone for that area of it. You may initially need to invest in having your site constructed as well.
- Social Media. Social media is how word gets around these days. You’ll want to establish a presence on them such as setting up a Facebook account for your business. Get someone to tend to that end of the business or do so yourself. Social media is like free advertising so take advantage of what is yours for the taking.
- Travel industry. Take advantage of all things that are available for those in the tourist industry. You will want to do some advertising within those realms as well. Keep in touch with those who review places and be sure your name gets out there and stays out there. Those who are in the travel industry are your friends, even if they happen to be competitors. Bond together with them and you’ll do great.
- Be the authority. On your website, you can hire writing to be done that establishes you as an authority in the field. If you have a small animal farm, have some credible, creative articles on your site that have to do with small animals. You might inform your readers of what the animals eat, what their habits are and other bits of information. You can even feature and animal every other week or so on your site. If you have a winery, have articles on the various types of wine in the world or give some interesting information on wine drinking in history.
- Specials. Treat your visitors to specials now and then. Give them two for one discounts. Have a free day where all visitors get in free. Let them purchase passes for multiple visits. The more incentives you give your visitors to come back, the more they will.
- Cleanliness. You can’t look rode hard and hung up to dry as you may be used to looking. Sure, you will likely be getting dirty throughout the day, but make sure you and those who work for you start off clean and clean up mid-way if need be.