This blog follows on from my first blog titled “Why Google Places is so important to your business” and it’s importance when making travel decisions, prior to travel, if you missed it you’ll find it here.
This blog focusses on the tools I used “in destination” to gather information and ultimately make decisions on where to spend my money.
I have to admit that I had done some prior research, mainly to check for tours and cruises to make sure we had options. So on Saturday morning, we headed to the Mildura Visitor Information Centre. This centre is very impressive with an adjacent cafe, library and swimming centre all together.
It was well organised with brochures organised by category, so it was easy to find what we needed. We took only the brochures of the places we were interested and the local visitor guide. We then proceeded to the desk and asked for some local advice from an expert.
Once back in the car, it was back onto the IPhone for Google Maps and a look at reviews to reinforce our decisions. We looked at TripAdvisor for reviews of the places we had identified and proceeded on our way.
We used Google Maps to find the Mildura Holden Motor Museum that obviously was to keep the other half happy! Then off to Trentham Estate Winery , followed by Varapodio Estate for the olive oil (brochure from the visitor centre) and finally to Sunraysia Cellar Doors. It was a perfect day and the TripAdvisor reviews were spot on.
Our final decision was what to have for dinner, as if we hadn’t already eaten enough
We ended up at “Little Malaysia” why? because all his reviews were good and he was very responsive on his Facebook page. Even though this restaurant didn’t have it’s own Website the owner was responsive to reviews and Facebook posts and showed a genuine pride in his restaurant. This was the deciding factor in selecting his business over others. We weren’t disappointed.
In summary, your customers are going to use different tools, both online and offline and various stages of the purchasing cycle. You should consider all your touchpoints with the customer as equally important. Don’t underestimate the value of peer reviews and your online footprint.
- Make sure your local Visitor Information Centre knows about you and your business
- If they carry individual brochures make sure they have stock
- If they produce flyers, make sure your business is included
- Manage all online reviews such as TripAdvisor in a professional manner, even if they are negative
- Respond to social media posts and keep your customers informed, especially if you don’t have your own Website.
- Refer customers both offline and online to businesses you think the customer would enjoy.