“The global travel and tourism sectors are projected to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023 and grow at a rate that will outpace global gross domestic product (GDP) growth…” - Reuters
According to the World Tourism and Travel Council, tourism accounted for a tenth of global GDP and jobs in 2019. However, this $9.6 trillion industry was hugely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, halving its output value and leaving 62 million people jobless. Almost three years since the pandemic struck, tourism is on a massive upward trend, with the GDP expected to equate to pre-pandemic levels by next year.
With this one of the first holiday seasons since the removal of lockdown measures, the industry is anticipating a massive spike in travel bookings as people look forward to visiting family and friends afar, as well as attending all those weddings that were put on hold! But to ensure you’re able to handle the volume of queries and provide the necessary customer engagement and support, you’ll need the right digital tools. And for travel and hospitality bookings, that is Chat Desk.
As part of the Clickatell Chat Commerce platform, Chat Desk is an application that allows you to communicate, in real time with all your customers on one single web interface. This means that your customers can contact you on a variety of messaging and chat channels, and your customer service agents respond on a single web-based interface. The features of Chat Desk include:
Chat Desk Dashboard: This is used by supervisors to access a summary of data providing insight on agent performance, availability, and customer engagement.
Supervisor Desk: Supervisors get even more visibility on customer agents' activities and interactions with clients. This is a great way to ensure their teams are providing efficient and quality service to customers.
Agent Desk: This allows agents to engage with customers across multiple chat channels immediately. The Agent Desk also includes two-way media support, chat history retrieval, and chat transfers.
The travel industry is one where time is of the essence. Last-minute bookings, sudden cancellations, foreign complications, lost passports, and changes in Covid-19 regulations… your customers will need to be in constant contact with you. Fortunately, Chat Desk is the ultimate travel customer care support available. Here’s why.
1. Flight or hotel bookings
Using Chat Desk, your customers can receive information related to airline or hotel booking confirmation, check-in notifications, updates on the flight status, gate details, and baggage claim. You can send your customers their digital boarding passes and alert them to any urgent information such as delays, gate changes, and seat upgrades.
When customers are researching your travel offering, you can also use Chat Desk to suggest upgrades to their existing searches, as well as cross-selling. If they’ve booked into a ski resort, you can suggest offers and deals on partner offerings, such as ski excursions, eateries, and more.
People love browsing travel websites and dreaming about that perfect vacation as an escape from day-to-day drudgery. But cold feet, concerns about Covid-19 regulatory changes, or other restrictions can often prevent them from going ahead with making that booking. Using Chat Desk, you can take this potential travel information and remind them about it – possibly even incentivise a purchase with some discounts or suggestions. You can even share a link with them so that they’re more likely to conclude the payment.
4. Last-minute offers
Spur-of-the-moment travel plans evoke an element of adventure, which is why customers are often receptive to these deals and suggestions. For airlines, empty seats on a flight are just money wasted, which is why it’s worth providing last-minute specials via Chat Desk to make up some of that lost revenue. Hotels and travel agents can also encourage great deals if peak season isn’t fully booked, or to encourage travel outside of the busy season.
There are so many ways that Chat Desk can be incorporated into your travel or hospitality business, but it’s not only a useful tool, it comes with so many associated benefits. Here’s a look at some of them.
- Customer satisfaction
According to Clickatell’s Chat Commerce Trends Report: Travel Edition report which fielded responses from more than 1,000 US consumers, 87% preferred mobile messaging when communicating with travel companies. With Chat Desk, you’re giving customers what they want! It’s the perfect travel customer care tool that connects your customers with your agents anywhere in the world. You can also use the data gathered through Chat Desk to determine how well your agents are engaging with customers, and the level of satisfaction customers are enjoying.
- Personalised communications
Chat Desk allows you to not only connect with customers wherever they are, but also send them personalised travel details, suggestions and promotions for better customer engagement. You aren’t simply spamming customers with unwanted travel information; it’s rather tailored to their budget and interests based on previous interactions.
- There’s immediacy
As we mentioned, when it comes to travel, time is of the essence. You can’t have customers arriving at their chosen destination at 2 AM only to find there’s no booking for them. If this happens, they are not going to wait patiently until your agents are manning their desks during office hours, they’re going to want assistance right now. With Chat Desk and Chat Flow automation, this is possible. You’re providing them with real-time assistance every hour of the day.
- Provide agent support
Chat Desk can help you deal with repetitive tasks and frequently asked questions so that your agents aren’t overwhelmed. This will be particularly helpful during the upcoming holiday season as everyone embarks on their bucket-list journeys. Chat Desk allows you to scale your travel, hotel, or rental business and attend to the increased demand.
- Mobile is best
When travelling your customers are not always likely to be on their laptops, they’ll most likely be navigating their journey on a mobile phone. Chat Desk is suited to such mobile interactions, making it the most user-friendly option for the travel industry.
SMS and two-way channels, automation, call center integration, payments - do it all with Clickatell's Chat Commerce platform.