ASTA Survey Shows Low Client Retention

A new survey recently released by the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) found that an average of 20 percent of new clients book once with an agency and never return.


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One in five travelers books with an agency just once, according to a new ASTA survey. // © 2009 Sean Locke

A new survey recently released by the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) found that an average of 20 percent of new clients book once with an agency and never return.

The “Marketing & Customer Retention Survey,” a first for ASTA, also revealed that the majority of agencies surveyed generate less than 10 new customer leads per month, most of which come from referrals.

“Retaining clients and generating new customer leads are key issues for travel agencies,” said ASTA president and chairman Chris Russo. “And thanks to research such as the latest study from ASTA, travel agents will have a better understanding of how well they are retaining clients, what marketing vehicles have been most successful, and how many new customer leads they should be generating a month.”

Agencies that consider themselves to be equally leisure- and corporate-oriented outspend the other two business models when it comes to advertising, and few agencies use magazine or newspaper advertising in their marketing plans. Of the agencies surveyed, 88 percent use follow-up campaigns to maintain communication with their customers. The report indicated a 95 percent confidence rate with an error rate of 4.8 percent.
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