With the festivities well and truly celebrated, many consumers are already looking for something else to look forward to and a holiday could be just the ticket.
The lead up to Spring is undeniably a pivotal time for the travel industry. The long month of January, back to work blues and cold weather traditionally send sales through the roof for travel operators.
The question is, with the recent changes across consumer expectations, can travel retailers afford to rely on tradition?
What’s clear from last year’s trends is that customer experience is, as always at the centre of driving these key conversions. Offering fast booking options through your app, online chat or digital messaging is just one aspect of enriching the online journey.
How can digital messaging improve the experience of the online travel shopper?
Digital messaging can streamline the browsing and booking journey in numerous ways, providing convenience and speed for online shoppers. Utilising channels such as live chat, for example, offers consumers easy access to fast answers. Agents can remove potential barriers and upsell by suggesting alternative travel options that better fit the needs of the customer.
In much the same way, the conversational nature of platforms such as WhatsApp and social media messaging offer real-time answers as well as familiarity. These channels combine comfort and convenience to support customers on their way to conversion.
What’s the next step towards customer satisfaction?
But beyond the booking, some holidaymakers can be left feeling a little out of the loop with their chosen operator. Supporting customers through similar channels with updates, countdowns and key information can really improve the level of personalisation and value across the whole experience.
Share in-resort tips and even suggested excursions or activities they might enjoy both before and during their trip. Mobile messaging and in particular, SMS is also ideal for sending tickets and confirmations, reducing the risk of lost passes as well as being more environmentally friendly. It is this level of tailored communication that cultivates loyalty and encourages additional purchases.
To further increase engagement across these notifications, feature-rich messaging channels deliver interactive choices and compelling media seamlessly. RCS is a prime example, providing tour operators with the ability to share rich image carousels and connecting with other mobile apps such as calendars and maps.
Improving customer satisfaction with digital messaging
It’s clear that real-time channels can add much sought after value to the customer experience from browsing to departure and beyond. Digital messaging combines personal consultation with all the convenience and speed of the smartphone. Virtual travel agents can gain an understanding of what travellers need and really deliver the ideal package through the prefered channels of their customers.
For travel retailers who already have an existing app or online account facility, digital messaging can have a dramatic impact on usage. Push notifications, in-app messaging and SMS alerts can all drive customers to log in or direct them to specific pages within the application itself.
One of the most prevalent aspects of travel for all explorers is staying safe. Here is where the reliability and security of SMS or RCS come into their own. Using direct mobile messaging that doesn’t rely on an internet connection, operators can share safety tips and any subsequent changes to travel plans. In fact, one of our existing customers, P&O Ferries, is already feeling the benefit of sharing SMS alerts with their travellers, you can read more here.
Digital messaging holds great potential for travel agents looking to add real value to the experience of their customers. If you’d like more information on utilising additional channels across both marketing and customer service, our team would be more than happy to help.