“2022 uncovered unexpected friction points in travel. Hilton’s global research found that more than half (56 percent) of travelers will prioritize adopting solutions that make travel easier in 2023. Nearly nine in 10 survey respondents (86 percent) will look for at least one thing to be personalized during their travel experiences and interactions, and 26 percent of respondents anticipate hotel technologies will be important to them for a seamless stay.” – Travel Agent Central
The current trends of ‘work from roam’, ‘self-care retreats’, and ‘bleisure’ travel will continue into 2023 as more and more people embrace the freedom of travel. But for tour operators to handle the drastic rise in travel volumes, they need to adopt digital solutions that streamline operations and drive sales. The multi-channel communication solution, Chat Desk, is a application that facilitates a range of travel activities from one central interface. Here’s why travel operators are incorporating Chat Desk for a better customer experience.
Chat Desk is an application that sits on the Clickatell platform that enables your live agents communicate with a number of customers at once, allowing them to deal with travel queries, manage bookings, changes and more. This ensures you’re providing travellers with a meaningful service through quicker response times and enhanced engagement. It’s simple to use and has multiple features for a holistic travel solution.
Clickatell surveyed more than 1,000 participants for its Chat Commerce Trends Report: Travel Edition to determine how customers want to communicate and make purchases for travel. The results indicated that Chat Desk is meeting the market trends, customer needs, and travel operator demands all in one.
“Long airport queues and extended hold times became a hallmark of air travel in summer 2022 which frustrated passengers and airline employees alike…Most passengers contact the call centre or an airport representative because the transaction they need cannot be completed online or on their phone. The fact remains that most airline online platforms are only capable of a small percentage of all possible transactions, leading to increased demand during times of disruption.” - McKinsey
The frustrations around air travel are unnecessary and outdated. By integrating Chat Desk, airline companies are able to accommodate bookings, send updates and notifications, make upgrades, track lost luggage, and more on one platform. This is meeting the needs of the frustrated traveller with 48% calling for mobile communications from travel companies, and 60% wanting last-minute notifications via chat.
An impressive 92% of travellers surveyed said they wanted mobile messaging for hotels, with 58% wanting to make a reservation and 47% wanting to upgrade their rooms in via mobile messaging apps. Chat Desk is a complete hotel customer service solution, providing your customers with a direct mobile connection to your operators for bookings, upgrades, queries, and more.
- Rental cars
Half of all travellers booking rental cars would like to receive any last-minute changes to their mobile phones, with 54% preferring communication from agents via mobile messaging. And when it comes to paying for travel services like car rentals, 71% said they’re more likely to pay via chat after chatting with a live agent. Chat Desk facilitates all these services, no matter where your customers are in the world.
- General travel
No matter the type of travel, 80% of customers have indicated they’d prefer to use a travel desk via mobile messaging rather than any other communication platform. Other Chat Desk uses include:
Product discovery and information gathering
24-7 customer support anywhere in the world
Complete customer guidance through the entire purchase journey
Schedule appointments and reservations from anywhere
Deflect calls from phones to messaging
Track and manage purchases through to delivery
Provide automated, self-service experiences
There are a number of other ways that Chat Desk is advancing operations for travel companies. These include:
1. Real-time notifications
The biggest challenge with travelling is that there are so many outside elements that can impact an itinerary. From Covid-19 restrictions and extreme weather to global conflicts, there are lots of reasons why plans might change. Chat Desk ensures customers are kept informed 24-7 through real-time notifications and alerts sent directly to their mobile phones.
2. Personalized communications
“Whilst many senior leaders today understand the importance of personalization, the real key to success in today’s marketplace is offering a good personal experience to customers. More than half (63%) of customers will stop buying from brands that use poor personalization tactics according to marketing firm Smart Insights.” - Forbes
Chat Desk enables travel companies to personalize interactions with customers by gaining insight from data, historical interactions, and surveys. This greatly enhances the overall customer experience and gives the modern traveller what they want – personal service.
3. More agent support
The influx of calls and queries for travel has placed customer care agents under a lot of stress. Chat Desk, which allows them to facilitate five times the number of queries simultaneously, is providing call centres with the necessary customer support. This saves time, streamlines workflow, and reduces business costs.
All of these benefits allow your business to grow as consumer demand increases. Whether you have a hotel, airline, car rental, or other travel business, Chat Desk provides you with the ability to scale up.
Once your customers have confirmed their bookings, you’re able to offer upgrades, suggest partner travel options, promotions, and more to drive sales.
“The most successful growth stories are when these brands, faced with the paradox of whether to buy or build, choose to partner with a third party technology provider … rather than custom build only for themselves without future proof.” - Vidar Svansson, CEO of Kaptio speaking to Skift
Clickatell’s Chat Desk is the ideal contact centre solution that enables you to resolve customer queries faster, eliminate hold times, and remove the frustration and inconvenience from the customer service experience. Get in touch with Clickatell to find out more about this travel customer care solution today!
SMS and two-way channels, automation, call center integration, payments - do it all with Clickatell's Chat Commerce platform.