The travel industry is changing. COVID-related travel restrictions are slowing down, and revenge travel — or a surge in consumers looking to go all out on their next vacation — is on the rise. In fact, 54% of consumers are planning to spend more on upcoming trips.
It’s obvious consumers are eager to travel again, but new pain points can easily get in the way of their excitement. Delays in flights, for instance, are almost double last year’s rate. Issues like these are becoming increasingly common in this new age of travel, and they can ruin travel brands’ chances to win back consumers.
In fact, a report from PWC shows 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand after just one poor brand experience. To retain consumers, then, travel marketers must make sure they provide an exceptional customer experience — one that drives long-term loyalty.
What do today’s travelers want from their CX? How can it help brands stand out from their competitors? From anticipating your customers’ desires even before they arrive to a seamless check-in and more, we’ll cover how to delight travelers at every touchpoint with your CX.
Streamline Your Digital Check-In
The check-in process sets the stage for your customer’s trip. Your brand should offer a check-in process that takes the stress out of travel — rather than add to it.
To start your customer’s travels on a high note, streamline the check-in process with the following tips.
Explain Everything Customers Need To Know in a Video
Research shows consumers are 3.5x as likely to prefer a video from a brand explaining complex information. And as we touched on before, checking in is more complicated than ever before.
To prepare customers for arrival, then, put everything they need to know in an explainer video. For instance, American Airlines sent passengers this video giving them helpful information prior to their flight.
It’s a great way to condense critical information, like places to scan boarding passes and drop off bags, in just under a minute. Plus, it reduces points of friction that can frustrate passengers and negatively impact their CX.
Meet Your Customers Where They Are: In-App
In-app communications are another digital channel that brands can leverage for a smooth check-in process. Today’s travelers are digital-first — and apps are a huge part of their online experience. Meet them where they are by letting them check in straight from your app.
Customers love this — 60% of consumers prefer to check in and out via an app, rather than in person.
Delta’s Fly Delta app does exactly this. It allows customers to check in 24 hours prior to their departure from their app. Plus, they can access their boarding pass, change seats and more.
The upshot? Customers don’t have to dig around their bags to find their paperwork. They can upgrade their seats straight from their phone rather than wait for a customer service representative. It makes the check-in process easy, fast and enjoyable.
You can even offer helpful explainer videos, like the one we shared from American Airlines, via your app. It’s a great way to share your video content and boost its reach. Plus, users get the information they need (in the format they want) — all in one place.
Offer Personalized Recommendations
Every consumer has different needs when it comes to their travels — and personalizing your digital communications creates a CX that speaks to their preferences. Here are some custom offers you can upsell to every individual:
- If you know your guests travel as a family, share recommendations of kid-friendly activities.
- Are your travelers from out of town? Suggest a car-rental service near the airport they’ll be arriving from.
- Remind loyalty program members of their available upgrades and when they expire.
To help customers make the most of their trip, why not send an exclusive offer just for them? A personalized offer is a great way to grab attention, and shared in a video, it’s even more engaging.
Celebrity Cruises sent past customers the video above, which included personal touches such as their name and their loyalty tier. The video even reminded customers of their last trip — making the offer even more relevant.
Strengthen Customer Service With Self-Serve Tools
As consumers begin to travel again, it’s likely they’ll have questions. Can they redeem offers sent prior to the pandemic? What vaccinations are required at their destination?
But labor shortages pose a problem for agents responsible for answering these questions. Reports show a labor deficit of close to 700,000 in the travel industry — leaving passengers on hold for nearly 4 hours in some instances.
Self-serve tools can help. Customers can answer more basic questions with the click of a button, giving agents the bandwidth to attend to higher priority calls. Expedia, for instance, offers a chatbot users can access straight from the Messenger app.
With self-serve tools like these, customers can access customer service 24/7 — critical for resolving issues like last-minute delays, lost passports and more. And if customers have questions too complex for automated answers, the chatbot can connect the user with a live agent.
A Better CX for Your Travel Company
Today’s consumers are looking to take a well-deserved break, but long lines at airports, anxieties surrounding COVID and more can quickly turn a relaxing trip into a stressful situation. It’s key travel companies set their sights on their CX to give customers the travel experiences they’re eager for.
There are tons of opportunities to surprise and delight consumers throughout their journey. Create a personalized guest experience that speaks to their interests. And if you’re ready to take your CX to even further, tap into the power of Personalized Video. Schedule a 15-minute call when you’re ready to start.