Travel is in full swing again thanks to easing restrictions and the rollout of vaccinations, and more places easing pandemic-related restrictions. 90% of Americans say they plan to travel in 2022, according to Skift.
Let’s take a look into how we are helping the travel industry reach its full potential as the demand is ever increasing.
Loyalty is the ‘magic’ word when it comes to the travel and hospitality industry. The lack of travel has meant consumers have become detached from normality, a symptom of the pandemic. As travelling becomes accessible again, consumers in their hoards, can’t wait to hit the road, sea and sky. The opportunity for you to reclaim and increase your customer base presents itself as the travel surge approaches. This is where we come in!
Stay in touch and keep the customer informed has never been more important. The pandemic and its constant change of restrictions have taught us all a lesson in making sure everyone is kept ‘up to date’.
Travel apps are at the centre of it all. They’re used to book trips, stay updated, keep important documents close at hand like boarding documents, vaccination info etc…, and possibly most important to you, the business, it’s easy to keep watch of loyalty status. However, there appears to be a recurring problem when it comes to the day of a booking, customers are forced to make the dreaded call – and are often put on hold for ridiculous times.
On a recent trip abroad, my travel companion tested positive for covid at the airport on the day of travel. Despite testing negative myself, I could not leave him alone in a foreign country. There was no information from the airline on what we could or should do in this case, which led to being on hold for close to an hour. It’s the stuff of nightmares when your plans are thrown on the day of travel.
This is the precise situation where travel and hospitality can do better. With AI-powered messaging, information is directly available to customers.
Callbacks are always an option so you know the customer will be assisted, but this too can be an inconvenience for them. Voice is often not the most practical way to communicate when hoisting luggage, weaving in and out of those queues that always seem to appear at airports, trying to listen to announcements, or even organising when and where to feed and water the family. Everything is somewhat of an inconvenience when travelling. No one likes queuing, delays, security checks, the list goes on… Voice at these moments is not the most welcome channel when issues arise.
Conversational AI and messaging are more supportive to both travel companies who need to supply this second-by-second information and the consumer who needs to know it. These messaging options aren’t always simple to locate, especially when panicked and scrolling through your mobile device. So, keep it clear and concise. When the customer goes to contact you, make sure there’s an obvious option to message as well.
Voice is expensive and inconvenient for both parties. By providing a choice, you’re telling the customer that you respect their time, energy and money while saving yourself the same. Aside from this, you can also offer the customer to opt-in for updates and offers, maintaining that connection.
One of the golden rules of proactive messaging is to always add value. Your message might be the thing that inspires them to book their next trip.
Automation is key to achieving peak efficiency and scale, but balancing them can be tricky, particularly in a travel surge. Fast, simple communication throughout a journey can promote CSATs, increase revenue and reduce operational costs. You can even do all this without having to hire AI experts.
The world is now open for business after the pandemic. It’s essential for travel and hospitality brands to be prepared to deliver what consumers expect in order to bring back loyal customers and attract up new ones. A world class customer experience that’s convenient, responsive, and personalised.