Many passengers and holidaymakers are today listing their mobile numbers as the primary mode of communication when purchasing tickets and and holiday packages. This is allowing airlines, tour operators and many other organisations in this industry to provide good communication initiatives which is contributing to effective customer service.
SMS marketing has also increased in popularity in this industry due to the popularity of mobile phone usage.
With so many transactions carried out via the internet postal booking confirmation is not always received prior to travel or is documented online. Confirmation of booking by text message is convenient for customer and travel provider alike. If internet access is not available to show e-mail confirmation this can easily be provided by the traveller on their mobile phone and negate any check-in issues.
As well as any standard travel details documented with the booking confirmation, any other relevant information provided can be of great benefit to the holidaymaker and travel provider. The information provided via a text message not only benefits customers but can reduce inbound calls increasing efficiency and saving in staff costs.
Travel companies can provide simple travel information to a mobile which is easily accessed when travelling:
· Airlines use text services to alert passengers of flight delays, cancellations and any gate changes
· Some airlines have benefited by providing traffic news direct to peoples mobile phones warning them of any traffic jams to avoid delays on airport arrival
· Holiday resorts and hoteliers can use SMS services to provide information about on-site events, dining and entertainment opportunities to boost occupancy and increase revenue. Check in and check out details can also be reminded to guests using SMS
· Wishing passengers a simple ‘Safe Journey’ goes a long way to build good customer relationships and increase in repeat business opportunity
Creating a mobile database
Travel companies have a great opportunity to add to their mobile database by getting customers to opt-in when completing online booking forms and the like. Whatever the promotion offered, this is a positive way to reach an engaging audience and respects people’s privacy rights. Clear opt-out text procedures help to provide customers with reassurance if they wish to discontinue a subscription.
Hotels, airlines and other travel related businesses also use other clever techniques to get people to opt-in to a subscription to increase the effectiveness of their SMS marketing and customer focus:
· Placing of prominent mobile, calls-to-action where people are congregating in queues, café’s and the like for people to text in to win flights and discounted travel
· Using other media such as television where viewers are offered the chance to win a holiday by texting a unique keyword to a short code for convenience
· Advertising calls-to-action on a variety of other platforms: billboards, flyers, radio and many other creative mediums that offer appeal and interaction
SMS marketing campaigns
Organisations that have invested in creating a wide mobile database can use this platform as an effective marketing and promotional tool. Also, by texting at regular intervals customers are reminded of the product or service which keeps it in mind and can negate customers straying to competitors.
SMS marketing is ideal for perishable inventories such as airline tickets, hotel rooms, coach seats and other similar products. Managers can create dynamic SMS campaigns to willing subscribers that drives sales and reduces unsold tickets and waste.
Many organisations in the travel and tourism industry are seeing the benefits of using SMS alongside more traditional marketing techniques. SMS campaigns can also be promoted on social media to promote products and services and increase brand awareness. The popularity of this marketing medium is sure to gain in popularity in the future with travel companies using ever more creative and interactive ways to appeal to prospective customers.
For further information on this subject and a trial of an internet-enabled SMS service, TextAnywhere offers a trial with 50 free text messages complete with support and advice.