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Digital Messaging for Inbound Customer Service in the Travel Industry

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Travel

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Inbound customer service is an integral part of any travel industry company’s customer service experience. Providing quick and effective service can increase customer satisfaction and retention, while failing to can push customers away.

OutPLEX offers our clients a diverse array of inbound customer service solutions, including chatbot automation, IVR deflection, and digital messaging. We can design a CX strategy specifically to boost your travel business and help you meet your goals.

How the Travel Industry Can Benefit from Digital Messaging

As the Conversocial State of CX Trends Report 2021 discovered, customers are more willing than ever to use automated customer service solutions like digital messaging. Page 7 of this report shows that 53% of customers are “very likely” to respond to a great digital messaging experience by becoming “a repeat customer” of the brand that provided the experience.

A well-built digital messaging infrastructure can improve your inbound customer service experience by:

  • Offering more flexibility: Unlike being stuck on hold waiting for a phone call, digital messaging or SMS texting gives customers the freedom to interact as their time allows. They can either respond to the text agent immediately or wait until a more convenient time to respond and engage, resolving their query at their pace.
  • Using familiar channels: Your customers likely already use digital messaging in their everyday lives. It has become the preferred channel of communication for most people, and that includes their customer service interactions.
  • Streamlining the solution-seeking process: When you spread your customers across multiple communication channels, you reduce the amount of traffic to each channel. This allows everyone to get answers faster and keeps operations running smoothly.

By assisting your customers on digital messaging channels, you also help your business thrive by:

  • Reducing customer service costs: A messaging agent can typically handle three to five times the number of inquiries as a phone-based agent. This decreases your staffing needs substantially and reduces related labor costs.
  • Improving customer retention: Customers often have dozens of travel providers to pick from. Customer experience is frequently a deciding factor for which company to award loyalty to.
  • Allowing you to focus on your business: OutPLEX can assume responsibility for all of your inbound customer service needs. This gives you more time, energy, and resources to operate and expand other areas of your business.

Which Digital Messaging System Is Best?

Digital messaging can be deployed across virtually every available messaging platform, including but not limited to:

  • SMS texting
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Google’s Business Messages
  • Apple Business Chat
  • WhatsApp Business
  • Instagram Messaging
  • Twitter’s direct messages

It may not be necessary for your business to utilize every one of these platforms. Instead, OutPLEX can conduct market research to determine which digital messaging systems your customers may respond best to.

What Is Market Research?

Through market research, you can gain a better understanding of your customers’ needs and thoughts. Market research often includes:

  • Social media listening: As explained by Brandwatch, this involves reviewing people’s social media posts to learn more about their wants, needs, likes, dislikes, and opinions about a particular company or service.
  • Social media monitoring: We can also monitor our clients’ social media usage. This tells us when customers are most active, what types of posts they like, and so on.
  • Follow-up calls: After a customer receives a service, we can follow up by email or telephone. In this way, we can see if they had a satisfactory experience and, if not, what can be done to fix the problem and improve future interactions.

How can these market research methods help improve your digital messaging services? Many digital messaging systems are an extension of existing social media websites. According to Pew Research Center, social media use has increased among all age groups over the past sixteen years. However, different demographics prefer different sites. We can look at:

  • The demographics of your existing customer base
  • The demographics of your desired customer base (if different from your existing base)
  • The frequency and quality of interactions across platforms

The information gleaned through market research can help you in several ways, including:

  • Determining which digital messaging platforms may be most convenient for your customers
  • Allowing you to create more helpful and targeted messages
  • Allowing you to focus more on services your customers want rather than wasting resources on those they do not
  • Optimizing your social media usage

How Digital Messaging and Call Centers for Inbound Customer Service Enhance Each Other

In addition to digital inbound customer service, OutPLEX offers more traditional services in the form of call centers. Our call centers can provide many benefits, including:

  • Trained live agents: We make sure our agents’ script and approach reflect each client’s industry, needs, and goals. If a script does not have the desired results, we retrain our agents accordingly.
  • Lower operating costs: By basing our call centers in lower-cost countries nearshore (Colombia and the Dominican Republic), we save our clients an average of 40% on their operations costs.
  • Multilingual assistance: Our agents speak many languages. English and Spanish are most common, but we offer French and many other languages based on our clients’ needs. This ensures that we are able to help more of your customers.
  • Technical support: Our helpdesk is available all day, every day to respond to whatever hardware or software issues clients may have.
  • Convenient locations: Latin America shares time zones and cultural elements with the United States, so our agents can better communicate with your customers.
  • IVR deflection: Interactive voice response can identify the reason for a customer’s call and provide either answers or instructions on how to get those answers. This technology can reduce wait times and streamline the call center experience.
  • The human touch: Customer service is all about making the customer feel valued. When a customer has an especially thorny or frustrating problem, a compassionate live agent can do just that.

Why Bother With a Call Center?

If a travel business has robust digital messaging solutions, do they still need a traditional call center? Given the current state of technology, the answer is yes.

Digital messaging can help travel businesses by:

  • Answering simple questions: Queries about flight times, directions, or service availability—in other words, queries with straightforward, repetitive answers—can all be easily resolved through digital channels, including automation.
  • Providing status updates: If all a customer wants is to confirm a reservation or that their flight is on-time and has not been canceled, a digital channel can do so instantly.
  • Providing links to other customer service channels: Each digital channel should be smart enough to realize when it cannot help a customer. In such cases, it can divert the customer to another channel—such as a live agent—who can help.
  • Empowering customers: Digital solutions allow customers to direct their own customer service experience.

However, there are still many situations where a human can do what a machine cannot. For this reason, it is important to make sure that your call center services are just as accessible and easy to use as your digital services. OutPLEX can provide you with both digital and traditional customer service solutions, which makes it easier for you to:

  • Coordinate messaging across channels
  • Ensure all channels are fully integrated
  • Reduce costs by using fewer vendors

When appropriately balanced, call centers and digital channels can work in concert to provide your customers—and your business—with customer service that is:

  • Fast
  • Flexible
  • Easy to use
  • Responsive
  • Stress-free

Let OutPLEX Determine the Right Solutions for You

The customer service solutions we offer include:

  • Digital messaging
  • Chatbot automation
  • IVR deflection
  • Call centers
  • Market research

We have over twenty years of experience with customizing, installing, and maintaining customer service solutions for businesses of all sizes across a variety of industries. OutPLEX strives to help every client to:

  • Meet business goals and objectives
  • Minimize expenses
  • Increase customer service quality

In OutPLEX, you can gain an active, involved partner dedicated to giving both you and your customers the experience you deserve.

Call OutPLEX Today to Get Started

Digital messaging is an essential part of inbound customer service in the travel industry. Its relevance will only continue to increase. Call OutPLEX today for a free quote. We can assess your current customer service strategies and help you figure out how to take them to the next level.

Learn more about our Travel & Hospitality CX Solutions.