The market size of the global tourism sector advanced by roughly 20 percent in 2021 over the previous year after a sharp drop in 2020 due to the pandemic. In 2021, the market size of tourism worldwide was estimated at approximately 1.31 trillion U.S. dollars. As forecast, this figure is expected to rise to 1.67 trillion U.S. dollars by the end of 2022.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, international tourist arrivals almost tripled from January to July 2022 (+172%) compared to the same period in 2021. This implies the sector recovered nearly 60% of pre-pandemic levels.
From two years of limited travel, several contemporary shifts & trends have emerged. There is still a long way to go to reach a normal situation. However, a possible full recovery by 2025 gives sufficient reason for the travel and tourism industry to be optimistic for the future.
In such a scenario, consumers are now more likely to pursue authentic & reliable experiences, demand personalized travel offerings, merge business and leisure travel, and be more mindful of the overall environmental impact.
Thus, customer experience becomes one of travel and hospitality's most crucial business needs. In fact, research reveals that it only takes one or two poor customer service experiences for 60% of travelers to switch travel brands.
Challenges Faced by the Travel Industry
People usually travel to find a break from their regular schedule and desire an exceptional experience at every stage of their journey. Today's customers have multiple options, and switching to your competitor's offer will only take a click. 79% of consumers say personalized service from a travel brand is more critical than customized marketing.
81% of travelers want better digital customer service from hotel brands. Travelers now seek information online rather than going to an agency, and a virtual call center can help you achieve consistency while you retain your customers.
As easy as it may seem, the travel industry faces many challenges. Other than the work pressure brought by digital transformation, understanding contemporary travelers is another cumbersome task. These challenges can be resolved by virtual call centers within no time, thus helping travel companies offer exceptional customer experience.
Lack of Omnichannel Strategy
In this fast-paced era, customers need quick answers on all channels. They can post a comment or raise a query on Facebook, Twitter, Email, Chat, Voice, or WhatsApp, and they demand instant results because there's a bigger world of the travel industry available online, and customers can choose them over you.
Constrained Business Hours
Working in multiple geographies often comes down to strained business hours. Travelers can book their tickets post-business hours. The unavailability of agents and delayed or no response may reflect poorly on the business, and you may lose customers.
Every interaction is essential in the travel industry, and operational failover may cost you a considerable loss. The loss of customer data could increase the risk of losing the game in the industry.
Why is Customer Experience More Important Than Ever?
The travel industry was one of the first industries to adopt call centers as a sales channel, similar to how it was one of the first to start selling tickets online. While the travel industry tends to embrace and relish the early adopter role as one of e-commerce's most futuristic and dynamic sectors, it is imperative to double down on efforts related to customer experience.
It is because a company's success combines a good product and excellent customer service support. The security that the customer feels from a reliable customer experience makes all the difference when making the purchase decision.
This is even truer in a post-pandemic world where information changes quickly, and the customer feels even more apprehensive about making a purchase decision. Once sales is finished, the second phase is to understand your customer growing needs and provide the best service to keep customer satisfaction at a desirable level.
In a highly competitive and growing market like tourism, the most promising way to stand out is to adopt a customer-centric approach and prioritize improving the customer experience for two significant reasons:
- Customers attach tremendous importance to the quality of services and experiences in a service sector like tourism. They aren't buying a product. They're buying service, reception, and customer relations.
- Price differentiation has its own limits. Offering low prices is not a sustainable solution, and it can have a negative impact on the company's margins. Moreover, low prices often mean a lower quality of service, which is contrary to what modern customers are looking for.
Future of Travel Call Centers
According to Salesforce research, 67% of customers feel that technology advancements will positively impact their relationships with travel & transportation companies.
Technology has reduced the transportation time between places & made the entire world a global village. With the introduction of online booking facilities for hotels and transportation, customers find it easy to plan and schedule their travel much more easily and quickly. Today, many travelers book hotels, flights, and sightseeing online.
About 60% of travel brands say they offer customer support via chat, while 28% are experimenting with or using artificial intelligence. The tech-based advances in voice analysis and transcription to text, combined with ever-evolving machine learning capabilities, mean that businesses running call centers know what customers are demanding and how operators respond. This can also be done automatically, without any manual interaction needed.
Outsourcing is booming, so there may be potential profit in establishing a call center. It may become challenging for the in-house team of your travel company to process all the client calls they get and provide timely consulting services for everybody, especially during tourist seasons and holidays. And hiring more employees isn’t the most cost-efficient and optimal decision in the long run.
It is thus essential for travel companies to involve call centers for the following:
- Provide assistance to customers who need extra care.
- Conducting customer surveys to understand better what today’s customers want so that you can develop solutions that help them.
- Get top-notch call center services for the hospitality industry that would represent your company professionally.
- Provide highly personalized services like special consideration in the itinerary, change in the travel plan, or rebooking support.
- Provide timely and real-time updates while answering their queries.
- Virtual Call Center Software has the data stored on the cloud, which is easily accessible, provided you have a strong internet connection.
- It also provides built-in recovery mechanisms that ensure the backup of your data on the cloud.
Gift a Seamless Digital Journey to Your Customers
Maintaining a call center and all its nuances can be challenging. Flexibility is essential to grow, change, and adapt as needed without impacting KPIs. It is time for the travel industry to enhance the customer experience, empower staff, and increase margins with today’s AI-driven tools.
Listening to the customer's voice is the best way to ensure that your customer experience is in line with your customer's expectations. At Convin, we understand the key metrics to run a call center successfully. We can assist with accurately forecasting call, email, text, and chat volumes, thus helping you deliver the customer experience your travel brand deserves.
Here are a few positive impacts rendered by Convin for customers in travel and hospitality:
- 38% decrement in dead air on agent calls
- 14% decrease in missed follow-up calls
- 50% decrease in new agent ramp-up time
- 21% improvement in call quality score
Convin can empower your agents with timely coaching and best practices to indirectly improve customer satisfaction by 27%.
Results first, payment later.
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