Customer Care and its Role in Driving Sustainable Tourism
Author: Therese Nix
Have you ever been impressed by a business's sustainability efforts? Seeing this in action can make you reflect and adopt positive changes too. Join us as we delve into the world of customer care in the charter tourism industry and its transformative potential in promoting sustainable tourism.
Protecting Our Oceans: Charter Tourism's Responsibility
Amidst the growing climate crisis, customer service takes on a vital role. Dr. Jan Louise Jones emphasises its purpose: to leave a positive impression on people. How a company handles customer interactions can truly distinguish it from competitors dealing with similar issues. When a company shows that they care, it becomes a powerful means of connecting with consumers who engage with their brand, product or service. Undoubtedly, the pandemic has shaken up consumer behaviour. And in the world of blue tourism, the main focus remains on preserving marine life by keeping an eye on resources to sustain them. Many researchers believe it's the perfect time to make tourism more sustainable due to the increased environmental awareness after COVID-19 restrictions. So, if we want to build a sustainable future for charter tourism, we must prioritise our customers' well-being. This means guaranteeing their physical safety, safeguarding their digital security, ensuring financial stability, and offering emotional support by empathising with their needs, including their increasing demands for sustainable tourism.
In the charter tourism industry, polluting the ocean with litter poses significant problems. We encourage charter companies to play their part to minimise their impact on the ocean. One simple way is to set rules on boats, like banning plastic, and ensuring passengers are aware of it – something our Green Sail Partner Flag initiative addresses! Given that the sea is a key component of such business, customers should feel that we’re doing all we can to keep it clean and give them the best experience. In turn, these efforts should encourage customers to change their behaviour – that's when we step into the captivating world of behavioural psychology, and we'll explore that next!
Nudging Towards Sustainability: Unleashing the Power of Behavioral Psychology
So, how do we help customers choose sustainable options? You can create super cool social marketing or communication campaigns and send out persuasive messages, but they might not always have a big impact on people's behaviour. Social influence, cognitive bias, and other sneaky behavioural tricks can play a part in changing behaviour too. Simplicity is key when promoting a specific behaviour.
When companies set environmental policies, it can be hard to predict customers’ responses. And when tourists make decisions, it's all about their desires and what influences them. Tourists have tons of options, but consumers usually won't make big sacrifices in convenience, cost, or enjoyment. But the good news? We've got some tactics to guide customers in the right direction. A smart strategy focuses on making the sustainable option the most practical, affordable, and fun choice. So let's make being green an easy and enjoyable choice!
Sustainable Tourism Made Easy: The Toolkit for Behavior Transformation
Here's the deal: consumers want to be more sustainable, but they don't want to sacrifice anything for it. So, we need to make it super simple for them, no obstacles allowed! That's where the Toolkit for Behaviour Transformation comes in handy for businesses. It takes into account the major forces that shape human behaviour:
1. Leveraging positive emotions
First, we’ve got to harness the power of positive emotions! Instead of using negative messages that invoke guilt, disgust, or fear, let's focus on positive messaging with emotions like pride, self-efficacy, joy, and appreciation.
2. Let's make it relatable
This means using people's values and interests to come up with incentives that actually work, and using these emotions and cognitive biases to get them on board.
3. Get personal with the messaging
Make it personal! Highlight the impact that matters most to customers in their own area or situation. No more boring stats – share stories of real people and focus on the human side of things!
4. Let’s get creative with incentives
Instead of relying solely on monetary rewards to drive responsible behaviour, consider using non-financial motivations like symbolic prizes or public acknowledgment.
5. Spread the good vibes
Show off successful and admirable examples, like ‘9 out of 10 people do…’. And here's a cool trick – highlight the growing trend of the desired behaviour, especially when it's not the norm yet, like ‘more people are reducing their meat consumption’.
6. Use the power of giving
We can give guests an unexpected gift or favour, like a coupon or free sample, to make customers want to reciprocate. Or, we can subtly let them know that we or others in their group are helping them out, and customers will be more likely to help us back. It's all about creating a positive cycle of reciprocity!
7. Encouraging accountability
We need to step up and take responsibility for our actions and choices that affect the environment. If we make our behaviour more visible, it'll inspire positive changes and discourage harmful practices. It's all about being mindful and accountable for our eco-impact.
8. Let's get everyone on board
Encourage people – customers, businesses and community leaders – to publicly declare their intentions and promises for the environment. When benefits are tied to others' compliance, peer-to-peer enforcement becomes a good way to encourage eco-friendly actions.
9. Choose the right messenger
People in positions of power or those we admire often get our attention. Find a brand or an organisation that will have a big impact in promoting the idea, service, or behaviour. Let's pick the perfect messengers to spread the eco-love.
10. Let's make it a breeze!
If we want people to do something, make it super easy and accessible by offering better alternatives to environmentally irresponsible decisions, reducing wait times and providing clear instructions.
11. The attitude is: we’ve got your back, always
Provide step-by-step plans to overcome any obstacles that arise for your customers. Active feedback will keep them on track and motivated to rock those goals.
12. Alter the choice setting
We can change how options are presented to nudge people towards the sustainable choice. By making the eco-friendly option the default, we make it easily accessible and make sustainability the easy and attractive pick.
So there you have it! Customer care is the key to making our world greener and better. Let's provide all the positive vibes, personalised messages and constant support to empower customers to make eco-friendly choices. With the right messengers and incentives, charter companies can make sustainable tourism easy. So let's rise to the challenge and make being green the coolest and simplest choice!