Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You h...

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Skiers urged to head east for best piste costs reveals new report

Skiers urged to head east for best piste…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 08:00

Cash-conscious skiers can avoid the slippery slope of higher prices for their annual downhill trip by heading to ski resorts in Eastern Europe.

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS competition

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS co…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 14:00

Ferry operator, DFDS, is putting out a call to professional and amateur artists to create a poster that will be used in their 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

Savings on worldwide adventures with Explore

Savings on worldwide adventures with Exp…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 11:00

Explore has launched a new collection of worldwide adventures with a launch offer of up to 10% discount on all new trips booked by November 7.

New route to Seattle makes it one to watch for 2017

New route to Seattle makes it one to wat…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 09:12

Seattle is expected to be one of the fastest growing US destinations for UK travellers next year with a Virgin Atlantic direct non-stop daily flight launching March 2017, new hotel...

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with increased connections across Canada

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:04

Air Transat has expanded its programme of flights from the UK to Canada with increased capacity and connections for travel in 2017.

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplement fares

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplemen…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:02

Oceania Cruises has launched a reduced single supplement promotion for solo travellers, with guests offered single supplements fares from 25% on seven itineraries, booked before December 31.

Mall of America welcomes arrival of MythBusters

Mall of America welcomes arrival of Myth…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:00

Running throughout autumn until January 15, 2017, visitors can ignite their curiosity and discover whether they can really huff and puff to blow a house down; if running in the...

Emirates to launch new daily service to Fort Lauderdale

Emirates to launch new daily service to …

Monday, 17 October 2016 11:00

Emirates has announced that it will launch a daily service between Dubai and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, on December 15, serving the South Florida area, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami and...

New tours in UK & Europe from Back-Roads Touring

New tours in UK & Europe from Back-R…

Monday, 17 October 2016 08:42

Small group tour specialist Back-Roads Touring has launched its summer 2017 brochure to reveal a unique line up of new itineraries in Switzerland, Scandinavia, the Baltics, France, Iberia and Russia.

Star studded cruise line up from CMV in 2017

Star studded cruise line up from CMV in …

Friday, 14 October 2016 10:16

Cruise & Maritime Voyages has announced five star-studded cruises for 2017 following the arrival of its new main brochure.

Non-stop flights to Manchester from SIA

Non-stop flights to Manchester from SIA

Friday, 14 October 2016 10:11

Singapore Airlines will fly non-stop between Singapore and Manchester from October 30 as part of its northern winter schedule.

The telephone remains a crucial, yet often underappreciated, marketing tool in the travel industry.

PH Media Sales and Marketing Director Mark Williamson press shot


Often, when booking a holiday, a phone call represents the customer’s first point of contact, so it is an absolutely vital means of communicating key messages and converting leads into sales.

However, if that first call is handled badly, it could forge a lasting negative perception in the customer's mind.

In fact, a recent survey of 1,000 British consumers by PH Media Group discovered 73 per cent of respondents wouldn’t do business with an organisation if their first call wasn’t handled to expectations.

Considering this, it seems counterintuitive that call handling is often overlooked when it comes to choosing where money is invested in marketing and customer service. Research has found the average business spends 94 per cent of its marketing budget on getting customers to call and only six per cent on handling that call.

A waiting game

The problem stems from the fact audio branding is still a relatively new discipline, meaning visual branding tends to take precedence for most businesses. First impressions last, so it is necessary to convey the desired image and values at first glance.

But the way an organisation sounds is equally important. When a customer picks up the phone to make an enquiry, their ears are their only tool for formulating an initial judgement, so it is important to ensure all the sounds they hear reflect the desired brand values.

Not only does this mean the manner in which customer service advisors speak to them but also what they hear while waiting on hold or being transferred.

If they are subjected to repetitive beeps, poor music or silence over the telephone it can leave them feeling underappreciated. The PH Media Group study found 51 per cent of callers feel more valued if they hear a tailor-made voice and music message while on hold.

In such cases, on-hold marketing – bespoke, highly-targeted voice and music messages - can be used.

Research of 3,630 UK businesses by PH Media Group has found that the travel industry puts callers on hold for an average of 27.34 seconds, providing an ideal opportunity to convert ‘dead air’ into brand-congruent marketing messages.

For example, someone may ring to enquire about a city break in Barcelona, only to be informed about an unmissable special offer on a beach holiday in the south of Spain with an additional car hire discount.

The messaging can also direct callers to convenient online resources, such as flight and accommodation search functions, live chat features or even social media, where customers can view exclusive prices or travel tips from industry specialists.

Furthermore, disclosing ABTA and ATOL accreditations in the messages can help to enhance the company’s image as a professional operator, instilling callers with reassurance.

Start from scratch

When implementing a bespoke on-hold marketing system, it pays to choose a reputable audio branding consultant who can assist in constructing the perfect soundtrack from scratch to reflect the company values.

In terms of the business voice, gender, age and accents can all play a part. Travel operators tend to opt for a masculine voice aged 45 to 55 to convey a sense of authority and reassure customers that they have the requisite professionalism to handle the caller’s travel plans. On the other hand, a female voice is largely perceived as soft, soothing and welcoming.

If your travel agency operates in a specific geographical area with mainly local customers, it might be worth employing an accent so callers feel welcomed and better understood.

In terms of music, tracks have the ability to transport the listener to a certain time or place, meaning choosing an existing tune for an on-hold marketing system could be risky if it holds negative connotations. To accentuate the voice attributes, pitch, tempo and volume should all be considered when creating a new track.

Ensure engagement

When callers are put on hold, it is important to consider what they hear and how it affects them. On-hold marketing ensures a customer doesn’t switch off, rather holding their attention without being too intrusive.

For travel operators, the business benefits of shaping your company sound are clear.


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