Select Traveler

SEP-OCT 2016

Select Traveler

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Page 39 of 77

38 S E P T E M B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 6 A s anyone in the business will tell you, planning group travel involves a serious amount of organi- zation and time. Whether it's an immersive tour of the Spanish countryside or a domestic excur- sion a short drive away, the forethought and fol- low-through involved is extensive. So why go through all the headaches for a loyalty travel pro- gram? Numerous alumni associations, banks and chambers of com- merce have developed successful loyalty travel programs to strengthen and grow their organizations as a whole. Instead of treating your loyalty travel program like an afterthought, strive to realize the program's full potential to promote, build loyalty and further the mission of your company. W O R D - O F - M O U T H A D V E R T I S I N G Kimberly Dockery, vice president and Silver Spirit director at Merchants Bank of Alabama, has tried all sorts of promo- tions for her travel club. Time and again, the most eff ective source of advertising has been other customers. ose customers talk about the travel club not only to other bank members who could sign up for trips, but also to non- bank members who might consider switching banks for the added travel bonus. e potential growth in business makes it worthwhile for Dockery to pour time and resources into ensuring that the quality customer service the bank off ers is refl ected in the travel club. "I'm also their private banker, as well as planning the travel part," said Dockery. " ey only deal with me, so if something happens to them, they know me already. Once they get hooked on our customer service, the travel is just an added benefi t." Similarly, Carolyn Grieve, business development and adventure coordinator for Arvest Bank Benton County, uses every tool she can to stay top of mind with her travelers so they will be advocates for the bank and travel club. To this end, she created "brag books" she sends to passengers after tours with photos, traveler contact information and a chronicle of the trip's activities. Soon, she had a number of people call to say they had seen a neighbor or a friend's brag book and wanted to know more. "You off er travel programs to your customers for your cus- tomers for a reason," said Grieve. "You want them to remember your bank and talk highly about your bank." BY ELIZA MYERS marketing Y O U R P R O G R A M TRAVEL TO BUILD YOUR BRAND

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