This Entrepreneur’s Travel Business Really Grown During the Pandemic – Here’s What It Says About Buyer’s Psychology


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At the start of 2020, our company Next vacation is very successful. Global tourism continued to increase; according to The Guardian, the World Tourism Organization recorded 1.4 billion international arrivals in 2018, a record at the time. Business was booming and millions of people traveled to parts of the world they only imagined visiting in their wildest dreams.

Then a little something called Covid-19 happened, and like many companies in the hospitality industry, we found ourselves completely devastated. The acquisition of new customers immediately fell by 90%. Our core value proposition – traveling to new destinations around the world on a budget – was suddenly and severely hampered.

Navigating the pandemic as the CEO of a travel agency has required me to be relentless in both innovation and optimization. Not only did we survive, but we actually grew up, and May 2021 was our second highest month in company history.

The adjustments we have made can apply to business leaders and entrepreneurs in many different industries. Here are three things we learned about buyer psychology along the way as we went through the downturn.

Related: Why travel should be a top priority for every entrepreneur

Customers don’t buy a service, they buy a feeling

In a nutshell, my company helps people find domestic and international flight deals for a subscription of $ 25 / year. Obviously, people didn’t want to fly in 2020. Although our acquisition dropped significantly, we still had new customers signing up every day, and many of our existing customers were renewed for another year. . Why was that?

In our research, new customers said that feeling hopeful that they would someday travel again was the main reason they bought. Even though they weren’t planning on flying anytime soon, they wanted new flight deals in their inbox every day to remind them of what vacations were like and dream of going to new places while locked in. at home for months. For a travel addict, holding onto a sense of the urge to travel was tangible enough to have monetary value.

Harvard Professor Gerald Zaltman’s Book How customers think: essential insights into the spirit of the market notes that 95% of consumer brand decisions are in fact unconscious. Customers don’t just buy products and software; they also buy out of instinct or out of a feeling. In our case, customers bought from Hope and wanted to familiarize themselves with a service that they could later benefit from.

Related: 8 psychological tips to increase conversion rates of SaaS startups

Examine every detail of the conversion process

This customer information warmed our hearts, but the point was, business was still down. The huge loss of new customers has forced us to review our user journey with a fine tooth comb. Did every word of copy speak to the hopes and dreams of our potential clients? Was the onboarding experience smooth as silk? Did every facet of the brand make our audience feel inspired, retained and supported?

These 1% improvements were small at first, but when consumers started flying again earlier this year, our efforts paid off and business returned stronger than ever. By becoming incredibly precise with our positioning, value proposition and newly discovered ideas, we were able to take it to the next level during the infusion and prepare to capitalize on the possible increase in inbound interest.

There is a saying in online business: the fastest way to double your income is not to double your traffic, but rather to double your conversion. As an added bonus, when you dial in the conversion and troubleshoot issues, you’ll be in a better position for efficiency and profitability when your industry is booming.

Related: Here’s how to build an effective conversion rate optimization strategy

Make your prospects feel safe

As Zaltman notes, the reasons for buying decisions are often unconscious. Fortunately, there are some things you can do as an entrepreneur to instill feelings of security and comfort during the sales process.

Free trials: It is increasingly common for SaaS companies to offer a free trial period during which a potential customer can take full advantage of your product and decide if it is right for them. Think about ways to give people a free sample of who you are and what you do so that the decision to cancel or continue is easy and frictionless. We are offering our customers a 30 day free trial of our real service so they can decide whether or not they want to pay to keep the momentum going for another year.

Money back guarantees: A warranty is a proven way to compensate for buyer’s remorse or skepticism. We offer a six month money back guarantee, and companies are increasingly using longer term guarantees to keep customers comfortable. In the online mattress industry, for example, Saatva offers a 180-day warranty, Nectar offers a 365-day warranty, and Haven offers an 18-month warranty.

Warranties help customers feel taken care of. If you’re worried that everyone wants a refund, take a look at your mindset or the quality of your product. If you truly believe in your product and the impact it can have on people, then stick with it with confidence.

Social proof: Yes, our customers benefit from great offers on flights. But what to do this trip to give them in their life? Freedom? Perspective? Inspiration? As you collect social proof and testimonials for your business, remember to capture not only the results people have achieved, but also what those results have enabled those customers in their lives. The latter raises the emotion, and emotion is how people connect to your business on a deeper level.

Hope you don’t have to experience a temporary 90% drop in customer acquisition like I did to double these adjustments. Consider implementing any or all of these tips now, and you’ll both delight your customers and increase your impact along the way.

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