Customer Service

Top 9 trends in tourism customer service

Learn how to provide top customer service for service orientated businesses
James Donald
March 6, 2019

Customer service is so important for customer service orientated businesses. Here are our top 9 trends in tourism customer service, for 2019.

Customers increasingly looking for a personalised experience.

Personalised experiences typically that means communication with customer service to help build something personalised. But it can also mean offering packages and options to tailor an experience.

Hotels are achieving personalisation at scale, they go beyond self service booking at before, during and after a stay.

Our top tip - You can do that by understanding the customer journey, key things that matter to your customers, and then deliver it!

Chat now most preferred contact method with customer support

J.D. Power found staggering 42% of customers prefer live chat compared to just 23% for email. We’ve found only 9% of companies use live chat on their website.

Our top tip - Install live chat.

Learn more about using chat in tourism businesses here.

Immediacy of customer service response

Studies show the average response time for emails is 12 hours. We’ve found many tourism businesses can’t even answer the phone during business. If you’re not answering chats/emails within 15 minutes then those customers are either finding your competition or something else to do.

Our top tip - answer immediately.  Since it’s costly to have staff dedicated to this 24hrs a day, start using artificially intelligent chatbots which act as your first point of contact with the customer, so they know they’ve been heard and you can provide answers immediately. Get Yonder today.

Customers will contact you on social media

You can't turn off Facebook, Instagram and other social media. Customers can contact you on it. So if you’re ignoring it you’re missing out on customers.  

Our top tip - ensure you have roles in your business to answer social media. You can also use Yonder to respond to your Facebook messages in one place.

In room voice assistants

Voice assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant are increasingly used because they make it simple to make a hige variety of commands. Pebble Beach resort, California use it everywhere around their resort - in apps and devices in hotel rooms.   Hotels like Accor, Hilton, Marriott are all trialling this technology, and are undertaking partnerships with tech companies like JBL to install in-room voice assistants.

Our top tip - watch this space as the use of the tech becomes more mature

Artificially Intelligent Chat bots

I’m not talking about logic based chatbots, I mean natural language chatbots. They are awesome at managing conversations at scale, they’re an extension of your team that can respond to many different channels 24-7.  

Top tip - Delivering AI chatbots for tourism businesses is what Yonder specialises in!  We make it cost effective and easy to adopt.  

Learn more about live chat and chatbots here.

Wide variety of payment methods

There are so many more payment methods available methods, like AliPay and WePay (used by Chinese travellers). There is also Apple Pay and Google Pay, which make it incredibly easy to accept payment, and can solve problems when you can't find your wallet! Checkouts need to be super simple and only ask for required information.

Our Top tip - check with your payment provider, like Stripe, that you’re offering all the available options. It’s not always by default they enable it. You can also use Yonder to offer in-chat payment, making it easy to capture a booking when a customer is ready.

Self service for sign-in or checkin,

Self service sign in provides customers no lines and a slick experience to check-in. It is also used to help digitise your processes and go paper free, which is great for the envinronment. Or better still, remove check-in formalities altogether.

Top tip - Consider one today, like Scribbel App, SwipedOn, OpenKey

Customer expectations of websites are high

Basic stuff, but customers are expecting good websites and they've got limited patience if it’s not delivering this. That means your website needs: fast page load speeds, modern, smart looking, intuitive, single page, good imagery and videos, not too much text, mobile friendly and secure. In fact, Google is  de-ranking websites which don’t meet much of this criteria.

Top tip - Do customer testing - ask someone to go through your website and give you feedback.  It's best to 3 - 5 people to feedback, you'll quickly see a trend. Then use that information to help judge an investment in an upgrade.

That’s it.  Thanks!



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