The title may sound like a bold statement and it may be intended to hold your attention – however, through the course of this blog I intend to put up a compelling argument as to why an on journey mobile APP will be the go to customer facing tool in the coming decade.
To understand this better, let us explore the past 20 years in travel.
In the last 20 years, we have seen significant innovation in the booking stage of travel – from creation of GDS, OTAs, Mobile Apps, personalized recommendation and to the different innovations that have developed around them. Online distribution, whether B2B or B2C, gave rise to a host of new technologies, inventory management tools, digital payments, tools to improve experience while booking, meta aggregation, decentralized distribution through use of APIs. As more and more travel products went online, the support technologies to facilitate its respective distribution and consumption went up. While it did significantly improve buying experience for the traveller, there was little to no impact on the travel experience, post booking. The convenience of self-booking and the growing confidence in online payments, influenced many to shift towards DIY (Do-it-yourself) style of booking. The fast growth led to more capital infusion in the space, leading to more services moving online
In recent years, we have heard terms like omni-channel being used by tour operators– that speaks of distribution channels covering both offline and online mediums. In other words, many offline tour operators, over the course, decided to set up a strong online presence hoping to cash in on the trend. Static websites turned dynamic and dynamic turned into full-fledged OTAs.
Fast forward to 2019, OTAs were booming and many ringing the death knells of offline tour operators. They consistently lost market-share to their bigger and mightier cousins. Regardless, the increasing size of the overall market and tier 2 and 3 cities contributed to a healthy growth rate. Lead generation would happen largely through a combination of direct purchase and online marketing activities such as Adwords, Facebook so forth. But the availability of a large market made it relatively easy to generate new leads at reasonable prices. However, with the increased use of digital medium for lead generation, the cost of acquisition has been gradually increasing and a strategy entirely reliant on new customer acquisition has been proving unviable for most.
On top of that, the impatient and exposed traveller now wants more from their travel agent than ever before – be it through recommendations, quick responses, on-ground support so forth. COVID has made the world more digitally dependent and that’s only going to accelerate adoption of digital technologies.
As a tour operator, your customer base has and will be your single biggest asset and to invest in it, is not a choice but the only real way for survival in the long run.
Here’s how Travelexic’s solution for travellers enables its partners i.e Tour Operators to elevate traveller experience, thereby increasing retention rates and bringing down the overall cost of acquisition:
Travel Paperless: With the global push towards eco travel and the changing global travel norms, paperless travel is here to stay and certainly the future of travel, as we know it.
Align with the new normal: Travelexic’s traveller solution enables web check-in for easy issuance of boarding pass, and in line with contactless travel we offer the option of express hotel check-in, which lets you manage all check-in formalities remotely and makes the whole process seamless.
Dedicated channel of communication: Email as a medium of communication is slowly starting to be replaced by Whatsapp, which has its own limitations, and we see this trend getting stronger. Travelexic gives you an alternate channel that can be further leveraged to push marketing communication and engage travellers well after the tour is over.
Handy tools for travellers: Travellers usually end up consulting multiple sources for information on weather, currency exchange rate, dos and dont’s, destination information etc. Travelexic’s traveller solution makes it all available in one single place.
Increase brand recall: Having ‘top of the mind’ presence with your customer base can be infinitely beneficial for your business. For one, the product association will ensure they always reach out to you when they require travel. Our itinerary APP can be fully branded right down to the font and icon colours, background image and footer colour. We ensure it stays this way well after the tour.
Engagement during and post tour: Travelexic web dashboard can be used to share a variety of notification types including text, video, image and actionable. You can pre-schedule them and use it to engage travellers through reminders, targeted information, driving attention to specific modules and can be used to send marketing communication and wishes on special occasions etc
Loyalty Programme: A Harvard study suggests that people are 70% more likely to refer brands if they have a strong loyalty programme. Our travelCRM aka ‘Traveller 360’ coupled with the “traveller solution” can be leveraged to build your own loyalty programme.
Build your own ecosystem and focus on lifetime value: The most successful businesses today have found a way of building an effective ecosystem around them. Travelexic lets you create an ecosystem around your business that can be used for cross selling, upselling and continual improvement through feedback.
The importance of having a post booking mobile solution has only grown since the industry was hit by COVID. For one, getting attention of your customers requires more than just words and attractive prices but commitment to the goal of being customer centric. No technology reflects that commitment better than the Travelexic’s post booking solution for tour operators.