Before an impending purge of The Wall Street Journal back issues in my office, I reviewed an article from a late December 2017 issue: The New Age of Bespoke Travel. The article, by Nina Sovich, details how certain travel agents have reinvented themselves to compete when online trip planning now dominates over help from actual travel agents.
The article inspired a laundry list of strategic thinking exercise prompts to re-imagine a threatened business model when your service offering is under assault from online offerings, bots, or some other form of complete automation.
A New Strategic Thinking Exercise
Here is how we see this new strategic thinking exercise coming together.
First, detail all the elements of your current service offering. Afterward, re-imagine what you could offer based on these generalized strategic moves travel agents are implementing successfully:
- Hyper-focus your market expertise and service offering
- Cater to an extremely small group of customers at any one time
Extraordinary Customer Service
- Provide mega-personalized customer service
- Offer 24/7 availability and assured communication WHENEVER the customer wants it
- Remove EVERY worry customers in your market harbor
- Remove ALL complexity before, during, and after your service
- Establish unquestioned trust in your performance
- Provide intense troubleshooting for ANY problems that arise - whether related to your actions or not
Amazing Expertise and Experiences
- Develop and offer COMPLETE knowledge of your category
- Offer highly-detailed upfront planning, customized for each client
- Share more potential ideas / options than anyone would imagine
- Create exclusive access to incredible experiences
- Address customer needs outside the typical service boundaries your competitors adhere to
- Design unexpected, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities
- Integrate high-value, unique partnerships into the service offering
New Pricing Structures
- Create a subscription-based price with no cost per interaction / service request
- Establish a high-priced initiation fee and sizable annual spending minimums
- Create an annual fee with a minimum spending volume beyond the fee
This strategic thinking exercise is straight from the Brainzooming R&D Labs. We don’t have any real-life stories to offer you yet on how it works in practice.
We're excited about the possibilities of this strategic thinking exercise, though, and will probably try it out first on some Brainzooming service lines. – Mike Brown