How Travel Agents Can Compete with Online Booking Sites by Using SMS Messaging
The lure of quick, easy and cheap travel arrangements online has revolutionised the way people find and book travel. Travel agents offer so much more than search, click and book, but still find themselves facing competition from online booking organisations. But none of the major online booking sites can offer the personalised service an agent does. But as a travel agent, you can take advantage of new technology to help your customers and their business.
The key is to demonstrate your added value to current and potential customers. Here are three ways you can use SMS messaging to differentiate yourself from the competition:
Offer helpful information to travelers before and during their trip. This can be last minute trip updates and notifications, warnings of late transportation or other delays, baggage or security restrictions, and reminders of important dates and times.
Keep in touch after the trip. Send a short text message saying thank you for using your services and you hope they had a wonderful time. You can even ask them to reply if they want to with comments or suggestions. Everyone loves getting goodies on their birthday. Send your clients a text message with a special incentive or coupons for future travel as a present, or even a small voucher for the local pub. Your customers will know you really care about them and will come back to you time after time.
Continue the conversation. Even when their trip is over, you can still send them special offers. These could be for travel or contests, sweepstakes, and other opportunities. If you can, tie the offers into the profile information you have for them based on their travel and other info they’ve authorised you to have. For example, if they like golf destinations, send them notification of a related event or travel opportunity sponsored by a golf resort or company.
New customers will appreciate all your attention and personal service. They just can’t get that at major online booking sites. For customer’s you’ve helped travel before, they will appreciate you even more. Their loyalty will only continue to grow as each text message can show how you can help and how you care.
These ideas and more are contained within our “Travel Agents’ Guide To SMS Messaging“. It’s specially written for Travel Agents with lots of business boosting tips … and it’s completely free!
Even great hotels sometimes have a mix up or some sort of problem that can affect a guest. And with social media and hotel review sites, chances are a disgruntled guest isn’t going to keep their complaints to themselves. Here are three examples of how to use SMS messaging to gauge customer satisfaction.
“European travel agents don’t like it”. That’s a statement made by one of the gentleman at my table during the mCommerce Summit earlier this month. He is from Cruise America, a successful RV (camper) vacation rental company based in Arizona, but with 123 locations around the US. We were talking about his company and their online and mobile reservation options.
Today we’re bringing our technology with us on our travels - using our smartphones to create a more personalised experience, one that points us towards tailor-made itineraries. This means those who promote certain sectors of the travel industry are in a strong position to have their SMS marketing campaigns favourably received.
Can something as simple as adding SMS messaging propel your business to higher levels than you thought possible? That’s what happened to these two companies. Read the last blog in the Results series to see what happened, and how you can start growing your business too.
In order to appeal to new customers and interact with existing ones, businesses are always looking for new marketing methods. Whilst many companies are using traditional and online marketing techniques, these aren’t always effective. Email filtering, for example, means that many recipients may not even be aware that they’ve received contact from your company. As many email hosts provide in-built spam filters, it’s easy for email marketing content to be overlooked or ignored completely. SMS marketing, however, overcomes many of the obstacles associated with online and email marketing. Whilst potential customers may not see your company emails, SMS messages aren’t filtered in the same way. The delivery rate is, therefore, far higher for SMS messages in comparison to marketing emails.
Right now it is peak season for camping and caravan sites; it's the middle of summer and the school holidays have begun. Even the great British weather has been relatively kind this year so far. With what is the busiest time of the year for camping and caravanning parks, marketing strategies are often not priority, especially for the many small owner run businesses within the industry and those who are reliant on returning customers. SMS text message marketing, however, can benefit campsite and touring park operators by offering a simple, cost effective and time efficient way to reach both existing and new customers to promote your business by direct contact to their mobile phone. Read on for eight proven text message marketing and promotional ideas to help fill those final pitches.
Online travel and review sites are great for travellers. They are good for hotels too, but they offer a double edged sword. User reviews are unfiltered – that is the travellers can say whatever they like both good and bad. And managing a bad review can be difficult, but how can SMS help?
With the summer peak season fast approaching, now is the perfect time for hotels to keep in touch with their guests and take advantage of upselling and cross-selling techniques to increase revenues. In this article, we demonstrate how to use SMS marketing to make the most of the opportunities in both and unlock added value for your business.