Managing COVID - Insights from customer queries and practical help

We’ve pulled some conversational data from the last few days and best practices from operators
Jose Reader
March 16, 2020

This is a challenging time for the tourism sector, and we wanted to offer some practical help… so we’ve pulled some conversational data from the last few days, and it provides really useful insight into what travellers to New Zealand are really interested in when it comes to booking or planning a trip post the Coronavirus travel restrictions. 

(Some) travellers are still planning and want to book

Surprisingly, our analysis shows that not everyone has stopped planning trips. There are people who still want to book. They may still be in country travelling and want to have fun, and are asking questions like these:

  • Good morning, are you curtailing any of your tours due to Covid-19? We were planning to visit next week.
  • Can we still book, or are you closed due to coronavirus?
  • Good Morning. I would like to know if you are working normally?
  • Hello, given the update by your government requesting travellers self-isolate, are you still continuing tours for the month of April?

Tip: Be clear if you’re still open and operating - given closures in many countries it’s no longer assumed that you are. Make sure that your website has a message about whether you are open in a prominent place - the homepage is best. 

Prominent messaging on homepage using Yonder website messages

Tip: Offer - and communicate - the option to change bookings to earlier times with no penalties, because we’re also seeing questions like these:
  • Hi, is it possible to change our booking from 13th of April to Monday 13th March
  • I have a trip for May that I need to reschedule due to flight cancellations.  Will you be able to assist?

Cancellation questions are much more common

Questions about cancellation policy, or how to cancel are very, very common. Many of our customers have seen a massive spike in questions about this. Here are some common questions:

  • Hi, I booked your tour but I cannot go because of Coronavirus. I would like to refund my money. 
  • What’s your cancellation policy due to coronavirus?
  • Is it possible to cancel and get a refund please?

Tip: Make sure your cancellation info is very clear and consistent. If you are temporarily implementing more flexible cancellation policies, check that your cancellation content is correct on your website in all the places where it exists - FAQs, pricing page, booking system, etc. 
Flexible cancellation policies

Tip:  Reduce staff time answering enquiries about this by presenting this information up front on your website and within your Yonder chatbot.  

Website messages

Yonder chatbot responses and workflow to take changes and cancellations

Tip:  Streamline your cancellation process:
  • Make it clear what information you require to process a cancellation, so you get everything you need without having to go back and forth
  • Make it clear what options customers have - credit or refund
  • Use templates for responses to confirm cancellations
  • Request customers email you, which enables your staff to process cancellations in an orderly way.

People are more interested in hygiene

People are showing more interest in hygiene practices, and questions about what tourism operators are doing to keep their facilities hygienically clean are cropping up.

Tip: We suggest you put people’s minds at ease with dedicated information on your website about what practices you have in place to keep people safe.

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