Use Messaging for Better Customer Experience in the Travel Industry
Although many consumers still opt to use travel agencies for personal consultation during travel booking, the growing number of digital offers and travel comparison sites raise the competition. In this article we’ll show you how to offer excellent digital travel consultation with professional messaging app communication. Develop customer loyalty by offering a great customer experience using innovative, helpful messaging features, and set yourself apart from the competition.
In this article:
- Why should you use messaging apps for your customer service
- Use cases: How you can efficiently implement messaging customer service
- Innovative and secure customer communication via messaging apps
Your target group is already there
Whether WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, iMessage, you can find a messaging app on basically every smartphone, across all age groups. According to Facebook Business Insights, over 50% of consumers believe that messaging apps are the modern way to communicate – for businesses too. Specifically during travel, messaging apps are extremely important: with wifi, you can use them from all over the world without incurring extra charges, making them a better alternative than classic SMS.
24/7 direct service
The main advantage of travel agencies and travel agents is the direct, comfortable consultation with a personal contact. This is especially important for trips that require a lot of organization, such as multi-stop world trips, or group trips. Using messaging apps, you can have quick, approachable 1:1 conversations in a modern way: you’re taking the comfort of a travel agent and making it available on the customer’s favorite communication channel. With chatbots providing first-level support during off-hours, you’re available 24/7.
Mobile is especially important on vacation
On vacation, people are rarely using their laptop. They don’t often want to check emails, or make phone calls. Instead, they’re relaxing, checking in from time to time on their smartphone. Reaching them via messaging app is the easiest contact possibility and doesn’t interrupt their vacation.
In which part of the customer journey can travel agencies implement messaging app customer service? All of them!
Your customers already know that they want to go on vacation…but where and how? You can inform and guide your customers via messaging apps in this first stage.
Travel consultation via messaging apps
You can advise and support your customers via messaging apps while they’re choosing a travel destination. You can find out what they want and expect in a quick, personal conversation and give them ideas, helping with multimedia visuals such as photos and videos. A chatbot can automatically gather information about the type of weather, region, type of vacation, length of travel, etc. and make sure that you’re providing the most relevant, personalized help possible.
Send booking confirmation directly via WhatsApp Notifications
When the customer has chosen a trip, you can send the booking confirmation via WhatsApp Notification. There are currently ten different types of notifications for different customer service scenarios. This ranges from notifications for reminders and updates, to information about payment processes and different confirmations. The customer must first agree to the messaging app contact to receive this push notification. WhatsApp Notifications can also be helpful for information directly before the trip, such as flight time changes, gate information, etc.
The following WhatsApp Notifications are most commonly used for tourism:
- Alert Update – Information about check-in time, gate changes, etc.
- Appointment Update – Set up appointments for travel consultation in the agency or remote via WhatsApp
- Ticket Update – Reminders about trips that you’ve already booked
- Transportation Update – Change to flight status, delays, etc.
Virtual travel assistants to help with pre-trip questions
Your customer has decided on a trip and booked it, but isn’t sure about how to prepare. In order to help them effectively prepare for the trip, you can set up a chatbot to answer the most frequently asked questions (Do I need a visa to enter the country? Do I need to be vaccinated and if so, what?).
The customers have arrived at the destination – and again, they need ideas and information about what they should do now. You can make the trip easier and more enjoyable for customers by sending them opportunities and inspiration via chat to help them get started!
Inspiration via chat – with chatbot support
What do your customers need to know about the language, food, excursions, culture and customs, etc.? Upon arrival, you can give your customers tips on how to make the most of the vacation. You can use messaging apps to give your customers real-time information about what they should make sure to do. A chatbot can also answer the most frequently asked questions about the destination and surrounding area.
Send exclusive opportunities via WhatsApp Notifications
The comination of the closness of personal consultation and the convenience of messenger communication shows how customer-centric consultation can be used in tourism. Your customer can receive tailor-made offers. If, for example, your customer plans a trip by car to the next larger city, you can suggest a suitable car rental service, or you can recommend a special restaurant in the city.
Real-life example: Pelikan Travel
The Slovakian travel agent Pelikan Travel offers its customers to answer questions about bookings via chatbot in 1:1 chat. If it becomes more complex, an employee from customer service takes over. In addition to WhatsApp, Pelikan Travel also uses Facebook Messenger and iMessage for travel consulting.
Want to learn more about how to get started with messaging customer communication for the travel industry? Check out our free webinars! Our experts explain the strategy behind the modern communication and give you an inside look into our tool.
Your customers come home well-rested, relaxed, and happy about their trip. This is the perfect moment to plant the idea for their next trips or offer promotions for hotels, events, etc.
Cross-selling and up-selling with personal consultation
Firstly, it’s important to measure your customer satisfaction level by gathering feedback about their trip. You can do this in a quick, standardized way with a chatbot. The chatbot can hand the conversation over to you at the end and you can use the results to provide some ideas about the next trip, getting started on the next sales cycle. You can send personalized travel recommendations and offer an early bird special! You can also do cross-selling by recommending appropriate hotels, events, travel guides, and more.
With the Messenger Communication Platform, which is browser-based and can be set up almost immediately, you can implement all scenarios and more. Our platform allows you to offer scalable, data-protection-compliant customer service. The unified messenger approach guarantees that you can be reached via the world’s most popular messaging apps, and handle these various incoming inquiries centrally. The multi-agent system with roles and rights helps you structure your team. We provide comprehensive onboarding and support, with expert experience from numerous customer cases from the tourism industry. With our Chatbot Builder, you can quickly create hybrid or fully-contained bots to make your service more efficient – and you don’t even need programming skills. Find out more about the Messenger Communication Platform on our product page.
Have a great idea for customer service via messaging apps for the tourism industry and want to talk about it? Message us!