For anyone with an Internet connection, messaging has become an integral form of communication, not only allowing users to stay connected with friends and family whilst on the move but allowing brands to reach out to consumers in increasingly inventive ways. However, whilst interacting with travel businesses in this manner might seem novel at present, messaging-based customer service has been touted to go mainstream in 2017.
This prediction has been backed up by a Tnooz article, reporting on a recent study which questioned consumers about their thoughts regarding travel businesses sending out messages proactively. The poll revealed that nearly half of a sample consisting of 2000 consumers situated in both France and the UK would be interested in receiving messages if an airline or hotel was offering a special offer or deal.
In fact, the research showed that more than half (53%) of regular Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp users had either already communicated with a brand via the messaging service or stated they would quite happily do so in the future. It looks like consumers are ready to embrace messaging from brands - particularly if there is a decent incentive to the communication.
However, as well as being first to find out about exclusive discounts or offers, Tnooz found that consumers have warmed to the concept that a complete history of conversations with a travel business can be easily recorded through a messaging service. This makes life much easier than sifting through old emails or making notes during telephone calls and can help make transactions and interactions that much smoother.
The article further stated that consumers have demonstrated an interest in the concept of group chat interactions with travel brands - a feature which could aid trip research, discussion and bookings within a group of friends.
Whilst consumers are demonstrating a willingness to engage and embrace messaging within the travel industry, businesses must take steps to meet their high expectations. Customers expect prompt responses and personalised communications - if you're looking to branch out with your messaging efforts, ensure you tick those boxes at the very least or you could run the risk of your messaging service becoming clogged with complaints.
Is your business ready for the changes 2017 is set to bring? If you're looking for the best way to message your travel customers quickly and effectively, we offer a wide range of advanced technology features to help you, such as our virtual travel assistant. To find out more information on our travel technology and digital solutions