If you live in an area that receives a lot of tourism, chances are your sightseeing bus company faces a lot of competition. Here are five ways to stand out from the crowd and make your business as popular and profitable as possible.
Have a Reputable Mechanic Service on Call
Nothing will cause your business to lose customers quicker than leaving them stranded due to a breakdown. Most sightseers are tourists with a very limited amount of time in your city, and a single breakdown can completely ruin their vacations. You'll be required to issue refunds, and your business will wind up with terrible online reviews that will turn future customers away.
To avoid that issue, keep your buses meticulously maintained with a reputable mechanic service. Professional bus mechanics will be able to perform all of the necessary maintenance on your rigs. They'll also diagnose and repair problems before they get worse and lead to a breakdown. That will save you money on costly future repairs and keep your bus fleet reliable.
You should also choose a mobile bus mechanic service just in case a breakdown does occur. They'll be able to dispatch mechanics right away to your bus's location to get it rolling again as soon as possible.
Promote Your Business on Social Media
Tourists are increasingly turning to social media to plan out their vacations. If your business isn't listed on all of the major social networks, you might as well be a ghost in the minds of many potential customers.
Create a page for your business on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr. Post daily updates that include attractive pictures of your sightseeing route. Promote your posts with each network's internal advertising platform. You can use their platforms to carefully target likely customers, such as out-of-towners who are currently visiting your city. You can also use social networks to offer discounts and other incentives to customers to increase your ridership in slow seasons.
Incentivize Online Reviews
In addition to social media, many tourists turn to online review platforms like Google and Yelp to plan their vacations. You want your business to stand out from your competitors with a slew of positive reviews from previous customers.
However, the majority of satisfied customers won't take the time to write a review. In fact, it's generally the unsatisfied customers who go out of their way to negatively review businesses. A disproportionate amount of negative reviews will turn away a huge number of customers.
To avoid that scenario, offer incentives to your customers to write positive reviews online. For example, offer to refund a percentage of their ticket prices if they post a review when they get back home. The money you spend doing so will be well worth it down the road when you start getting more customers due to your shining online presence.
Sell Advertising Space
If you aren't selling advertising space on your buses, you're leaving a lot of money on the table. Turn your buses into mobile billboards for local companies to make your business even more profitable.
Make a list of businesses who are currently advertising on buses and billboards around your city. Contact those businesses and offer to display their ads at a reduced price. That will help you get your foot in the door and build a network of clients. Then you can gradually increase your advertising fees over time as the local companies compete with each other to get their ads displayed on your rigs.
Subscribe to a GPS Tracking Service
Use a GPS tracking service to make your sightseeing tours more efficient. You'll be able to log in from your office and know exactly where each one of your buses is at any given moment. You'll also be able to monitor traffic conditions in real time so you can advise your drivers to avoid traffic jams and take the quickest routes to and from the sightseeing areas. That will save you money on fuel while also keeping your customers more satisfied.