How Travel Agencies can Meet Customer Expectations in 2021
The travel industry has experienced unprecedented challenges as a result of the ongoing pandemic. But, with challenge comes opportunity. The industry has learned a great deal from the crisis, and travel firms are re-evaluating the current ways of working, customer service, and their digital infrastructure.
Traveler behavior and attitudes towards travel providers have also undergone a massive transformation. The modern traveler has access to a wealth of information online, and compares not only the various options a travel agency has to offer but compares that agency against all the other available options in the market before making a decision. The abundance of choices today has not only created intense competition among travel providers but also made it harder than ever for customers to decide what the best option for them is.
A user-friendly website is not enough to acquire and retain customers in 2021. It’s vital for agencies to offer a wide gamut of solutions to attract customers and be the one-stop-shop for all their travel needs. It’s even more important to make sure you make good on all your promises and deliver the high level of personalized service customers today expect.
A large no of customers approach review websites to confirm their choices or even begin their journey of choices before approaching a travel provider for their requirements. One bad experience during any stage of travel can set afoot a company’s journey down south.
The initial services include the travel portal to be smooth enough for the visitor to maneuver through their choices online. The social media standing and advertising will bring about a lot of cavalry to look for the website. And then later the travel booking will include what aspects of travel are presented by the website beforehand.
Travel agency software includes a mobile-friendly design, advanced filtering and sorting, dynamic packaging, real-time bookings, pricing, and promotions management among other things. From the availability of a wide range of hotel and flight inventory to destination guides that make travel planning easier, everything holds critical importance for a website experience to expand your customer base and also make enough profit.
Eliminate Weak Links, Set Clear Expectations and offer a Frictionless Experience
The customer experience, both online and offline should be extremely smooth, personalized and memorable. Any friction before, during or after the trip might will lower your brand in the market. Any of the links that complete the circle of travel; for a customer get off brand, would taint the company’s name.
Word travels fast; complaints travel faster. The services demanded in today’s times can’t be just good enough; they are expected to be great and unparalleled. All facets that a brand entrusts in for the best customer experience, from the travel booking to the return journey, need to be seamless; otherwise it can end up in mixed reviews which can drive a lot of potential customers away.
All the travel services – flights, lodging, packages, itineraries, payment processing, guides, etc are accountable for a complete travel experience. All of these facets need to be well-planned beforehand. The travel agency software you invest in to deliver a stellar customer experience needs to have everything on-board and easily accessible for the customers to plan, research and buy the experience they want.
A travel agency’s role doesn’t and shouldn’t end once the booking is made. They need to choose their in-destination partners very carefully and constantly monitor their performance on the ground, to ensure that the customers have a great experience once they land at their chosen destination.
A poor in-destination experience can ruin everything you’ve done before. This includes setting the customer expectations straight during the booking process itself. Putting misleading images or descriptions of a hotel room may get you more bookings now but will hamper your brand in the long run. So make sure you don’t set false expectations.
How to aim for Better Service in 2021
The journey doesn’t end when the customer returns from the travel. That’s where the journey begins. The overflow of options in the market leads to customers comparing their experiences through across portals. The reviews that are left after the travel, makes the most apprehensive ground for the website to flourish. The accessibility of the desired travel options on the online portal or the difficulty of making a booking will all matter in the end when the reviews start flooding in.
Every brand needs to play on concern tables to be the better choice. The end of the journey marks the concern of the brand towards their customers. Their availability to their customers before, during and after the travel matter the most. If the travel has ended they need to reach out to customers for feedback and make them feel like they were a part of the brand and that meant a lot to the business.
Being responsive to customers on social media is going to get even more critical in 2021. The social media standing of your agency and the engagement you’re able to generate will set an image in the minds of the potential clients.
We live in an age where the same customer can have multiple travel personas at different times – Solo traveler, a groupie, a family traveler, a honeymooner, an adventure traveler, a business traveler and so forth.
Agencies in 2021 need to keep all these different personas in mind and craft personalized experiences that match each one. That’s how you can build a loyal customer base, elevate your brand and position yourself as a preferred service provider in an increasingly cutthroat industry.