Haircut?

Daily Deal offers (eg. Groupon, Living Social) can be used effectively to create interest and attract new customers. 

If the deals increase ridership, reducing excess capacity, the revenue generated by the deal improves the bottom line.  Some discounted Customers are one and done.  They enjoyed their discount and they won’t be back. Other Customers will be the type that tried something new because of the offer and liked it enough to refer their friends or return themselves. So how can you leverage a daily deal?  Control your cost of sale and maximize your potential revenue.

Control your cost of sale.

Generate your own coupon codes and upload them.  In this way, you will know exactly how many codes are being offered.

Make it easy for your customers to SELF-redeem their coupons via a custom online-portal.  There are two reasons for this.  1) Lower your admin cost by directing coupon holders to redeem and place their order online.  2) During the ticket purchase process, when a customer is presented with an “enter code” option and they don’t have a code, what’s their next step?  Do they complete their transaction or do they leave your site and go searching for a discount code?  A custom online portal for coupon redemption neatly handles both 1 and 2.  Coupon holders can easily redeem their offer online and Guests without coupons can also complete their transaction. No distractions!  

Maximize your potential revenue.

You are taking “a haircut” on the ticket price.  Make up the lost revenue by offering the guest something else.  Maybe an upsell item they can add to their shopping cart.  It could be a snack, a souvenir, preferred parking or an activity eg. gold panning, mine tour. 

As always, follow-up after the sale is essential.  Thank them for riding. Ask for their recommendation or referrals.  Invite them to return for the next special (full price) event. 

Get ‘em while they’re HOT!

Many tourist railroads rely on Volunteers to keep the wheels turning.  We know from our experience working with railroads that many Volunteers were Guests first.  It may have been a Santa Train, or a Charter (a bridal shower or bachelor party) or maybe, Father’s Day.  Somehow, they rode the train, had fun, and decided to get involved.  

So how do you engage your Guests and invite them to Volunteer?   

Broadcast the invitation to volunteer on all channels.   

Post clear and easy to find information on your website.  Detail the types of skills needed and tasks to be done.  Photos of current Volunteers “at work” doing fun stuff will go a long way.

Post photos and video of Volunteers at work or enjoying the annual banquet or awards ceremony on your social media.  With permission, tag the Volunteers pictured so their friends can see what they are up to – they may want to join in too.

Depending on your business rules, eg. you may require volunteers to join as members first, or take a course for certification, you can invite Volunteers to register online either during the ticket purchase process or through a link on your website.  An automatically generated “post-excursion email” may include information on volunteering. The Guest can provide their contact information on a sign up form and indicate areas of skill or interest.  That’s a “hot lead”.  Follow up is key to successful recruitment. An email notification automatically sent to your Volunteer Coordinator when a prospective volunteer submits the interest form prompts them to follow up and take the next step with the prospect. That may be a phone call, another email inviting them to a workday, or registering them for a required training.

Day-old donuts?  No thanks!  Better to get ‘em while they’re HOT!

The Art of the Upsell

Do you want fries with that?

It’s the classic upsell offer.

Translation: would you like something EXTRA?

Remember when they used to ask “SuperSize???” at the McDonald’s drive-thru window? Another classic upsell.

Translation: would you like MORE?

From the consumer, or guest, side of the transaction, the offer of something More or Extra may be received in a number of ways, positive or negative.

Positive Negative
YES! love Fries NO! hate fries
YES, forgot to order Fries NO! cutting calories
YES, hungry NO! don’t want to spend any more $
YES, good deal

From the vendor side of the transaction, the Upsell offer may accomplish several things, mostly positive.

Positive

— Increase the sales value of the transaction

— Enhance the guest experience, increasing the perceived value to the guest

— Inventory management – presells provide valuable information on what items eg. meals, snacks, collectibles will be needed on hand.

Negative

— Some Guests may be annoyed by the upsell offer but the chances of that are small – as long as you don’t overdo it and hit them with multiple offers at once, adding unnecessary friction to the checkout process.

Crafted thoughtfully, Upsell Offers can enrich both sides of the equation by increasing Sales Revenue and adding value to the Guest Experience.

What's Next


They came. They rode. What’s next?

There are many possible outcomes or next steps for Guests who have ridden your train.

Will they

➢ Become a Member?
➢ Refer their friends or post a positive review online?
➢ Sign up to Volunteer
➢ Purchase tickets for an upcoming excursion
➢ Make a Donation

Follow up with your Guests and encourage them to take a next step. A Post-Excursion email can be sent automatically to Guests one or more days after their train ride. “Thanks for riding with us” is a great place to start. Follow with “The Ask”. An invitation to become a Member, or to Volunteer, complete a survey, leave a review on TripAdvisor, Like your Facebook page, etc. Close with “The Offer”. “Come ride with us again soon” with an Offer Code for a discount on the next Special Event on your Excursion Calendar. Example: follow-up Santa Trains with Valentines or Easter Bunny. Prefer not to discount Special Events? No problem, offer something else as an incentive. A complimentary rose for Valentines. A chocolate bunny for Easter.

Every Guest interaction is an occasion to take the next step in building valuable relationships; Members, Volunteers, families who return year after year. DTS™ provides tools to cultivate and strengthen relationships. Your move.