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How to provide the best customer experience through collaboration

Collaboration should be an Integral part of a business strategy.

We need to work together more effectively at local and national level to make the most of our assets and strengths and turn these into high quality, authentic experiences that will be attractive to our visitors.

We need to create strong networks and partnerships whose goal is to share best practice and improve the quality and consistency of the overall visitor experience.

In essence, we will be much stronger together than alone.

  • The changes we need to make are significant and we simply can???t deliver these by working in isolation.

The benefits of working together

For the visitor

If everybody in your area is working to the same goal of creating a fantastic tourism experience, your visitors should be guaranteed a consistently warm welcome, which will go a long way to ensuring they go home delighted.
Working in partnership should also mean visitors are offered more joined-up information, easier access to a wide range of high quality products, services, activities and packages, and a higher level of customer service.
It should also give them confidence that any feedback they provide will be listened to and acted upon, which in turn will help you to develop your visitor experience even further.

For businesses and your local area

By collaborating with other businesses and presenting a joined up visitor offering, you can address any gaps in your own products and services, and provide you and your area with a much stronger marketing proposition.
In addition, it will encourage  greater cross-selling, reducing your individual marketing costs while making  your overall marketing effort much more effective – a ‘win win’ situation for everybody!
Operational opportunities may also come to light, such as developing economies of scale through joint purchasing and distribution.  It is also worth considering developing links to your local tourism association or perhaps sectoral trade association if that is appropriate.

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Identifying potential partners

Tourism Scotland 2020 encourages us to ask ourselves, “Which local products, places and services could I proactively recommend to my customers to help make the visitor experience more accessible? And who could I partner with to make all of this happen?’

Identifying potential partners is fairly straightforward.

Firstly, you need to familiarise yourself with the businesses operating in your local area and the products, services and experiences they provide.
Then, using the market intelligence you have gathered about your visitors, make a list of any of these businesses you would LIKE to work with.

It’s important to identify those businesses that could add value to your own visitor offer. So ask yourself what the specific benefits of any partnership would be for your business and your visitors.

By simply chatting through ideas and options, you could come up with unique, ‘must see’ experiences which your visitors can’t find anywhere else.

  • The changes we need to make are significant and we simply can???t deliver these by working in isolation.

Engage with local groups - All across Scotland, groups are working collaboratively towards achieving the goals outlined in Tourism Scotland 2020.

Destination marketing groups, such as the St Andrews Partnership, Royal Deeside & The Cairngorms, Love Loch Lomond and The Cairngorms Business Partnership, are working to improve the visitor experience in their area and promote it more effectively.

Other groups are working for the benefit of different industry sectors, such as the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group, Wild Scotland, Sail Scotland, Clyde Tourism Forum and Golf Tourism Scotland.

Community groups, too, are working hard to develop products, services and events in towns and villages that provide visitors with a real flavour of their local area.

Membership of these groups is a fantastic way of sharing best practice and improving the quality and consistency of the visitor experience.

Are you linking in to any destination or community groups in your area?

The Scottish Tourism Alliance website includes details of many of the groups operating across Scotland. Check out the site to find out how you can get involved and help play your part in delivering growth at business, local and national level.