Despite all the technological influences on the touristic sector nowadays and the increasing number of new channels via you can reach your (potential) customers due to the influence of digitization the physical arena remains important to engage your customers to your holiday park brand. However, this physical arena is nowadays shifted to the online environment. The main question of this blog is how personal selling can increase the engagement and eventually the number of sales during each phase of the pyramid of relationship. (Beltman & Peelen, 2013)
It is important that personal selling creates value for the customer and is mutually beneficial throughout each phase of the pyramid of relationships. In order to reach these goals it is important that the holiday park really listens to their customers and provide them with personal solutions instead of fixed offerings. So it is important to keep the customer knowledge in terms of needs and wants in mind. Uncover these ‘’hidden’’ needs and requirements makes it possible to offer tailor-made offers to each individual customer. (Beltman & Peelen, 2013)
The first level is the prospect; due to the selling revolution caused by the internet prospects will find the website of Center Parcs themselves nowadays instead of Center Parcs’ effort to search for prospects. Their website is the first presentation and is vital in moving a prospect towards a sale. The website of Center Parcs is easy to use and simple to understand among their prospects, besides that they focus on the key benefits and they unconscious push the website visitors to drive inquiries. The website visitor can also discover their Center Parcs experience by choosing a specific landing page focused on a particular segment such as ‘’with partner’’ and ‘’with young children’’. After the web visit Center Parcs can contact these prospects via for example targeted e-mails or a pop up on the website which recognises potential prospects with the possibility to live chat or even live video chat with an employee. (Young, 2011)
The transition from prospect to customer is supported by Center Parcs through the creation of a ‘’My Center Parcs Page’’ which will consist of personal cross-selling and up-selling possibilities such as additional activities and reservations for a restaurant. After the actual experience took place ideally the customer becomes an ambassador. In this stage it is important to check if the customer is satisfied and resolve any problems faced by the customer with personal selling by e-mailing a questionnaire or asking for an user-generated review. After the final transition the prospect is turned into a partner, a perfect example of a personal approach of Center Parcs is in this stage the cooperation with their customers to create the new brochure.
So when activities such as lead generation, transactions, after sales activities, relationship building, et cetera are well performed in the online world but with a personal touch it is possible to turn cold prospects into warm and long-term customer relationships. Which makes the investment in online personal selling worth investing in.
Beltman, R., & Peelen, E. (2013). Customer Relationship Management (2nd ed.). Edinburgh, United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited.
Young, T. (2011). A Selling Revolution: How the Internet Changed Personal Selling (Part 1). Retrieved from http://www.vistage.com/blog/marketing/a-selling-revolution-how-the-internet-changed-personal-selling/