If we weren’t there before, we’re certainly living in the digital era now.
When the world had to stay home, it was technology that kept us all connected.
From working to communicating, shopping to discovering new products, ordering meals to enjoying entertainment, much of our daily lives shifted online due to the pandemic.
The sudden upend meant that travel businesses had to reinvent the wheel in terms of processes and communication.
But, even now that restrictions are beginning to lift and travelers are enjoying more liberty, technology use is unlikely to drop.
Businesses have seen how the right tools, applications, and software can supercharge aspects of work, including marketing, sales, customer service, and communication.
Consumers are now used to the convenience and immediacy of having the internet in their pockets. The digital space is where people discover news and follow their interests.
As a travel company, you need to be making the most of this online era if you want to thrive.
Tips For Travel Businesses To Thrive In The Digital Era
1. Work On Being Present Online
Your customers, vendors, and business partners all hang out online – you need to meet them where they’re at.
It could be on your social media platforms, website, community forums, Google My Business, through advertising, and so on. If your ideal community is there, your business should be too.
Use your channels to engage with prospects and stay on top of worldwide trends and events. Being online will help develop and strengthen your brand perception as you establish your business as one that travelers can trust.
Setting up a profile or platform and leaving it to chance is not enough either. You need to be active on these channels and show your community that you are present and available.
Treat every conversation and interaction you have online as if you were doing it in person. Behind the profile name and picture is a potential client or partner that you need to forge a genuine connection with. Take cues, listen to what’s being said, and practice empathy at every point.
2. Automate Where Possible
As a business set to grow within the demands of the digital space, it’s near impossible to manually keep up with every online action that needs to happen inside your realm.
That’s why workflow automation has changed the face of both the employee and customer experience.
Equip yourself with the right tools, and your clients can benefit from quick communication, increased responsiveness, and greater personalization.
For your team, it’s a case of being able to focus their energy on essential tasks while automating those that are repetitive and time-consuming. They can work with fewer errors and be more efficient.
Looking at the bigger picture, automation can significantly improve customer interactions and productivity in your business. You can streamline the way you:
- take bookings
- accept payments
- perform admin tasks
- interact on social media
- keep on top of financial matters
- provide customer service
- and more
3. Drive Personalized Interactions
In the digital era, it’s so crucial for travel businesses to personalize their interactions with customers. People can choose who they engage with, and everyone is trying to grab their attention. This means only the most strategic and relevant messages make it through the noise.
In short, a one-size-fits-all approach to creating connections won’t gain traction when relationship-building.
For example, you’ll know from email marketing that you should segment your marketing list. It could be based on rules relating to location, previous interactions with your business, or demographics, to name a few.
Doing this means you can send personalized content to people at different stages of the purchase journey. In turn, this makes their interaction with your business more relevant and personal.
4. Make SEO A Priority
Appearing in search engine results for keywords that relate to your business and offering is vital for attracting new customers.
When somebody wants to find ideas for travel or research something in particular, they head straight to Google. If you’re not claiming the correct SERP positions, you might lose the business to your competition.
This is where having a sound SEO strategy for your travel business comes in.
Target the right keywords in your content and optimize your website and blog accordingly. Publish new content regularly and ensure that your Google My Business profile is set up correctly.
There is also website user experience, meta information, mobile compatibility, backlinks, and social signals to master.
Staying on top of SEO is a long-term tactic to get more organic traffic to your website. This can land you with qualified leads that you nurture to become customers.
5. Keep Up With Prompt Communication
In the digital era, you need to be readily available to your clients. If they submit a query, they expect a quick response. Take too long, and they might turn to your competitors.
Make it easy for anyone to find your brand online and engage with it. Connect communication systems to your social media channels and consider using a chatbot on your website. That way, even if you’re not online, you can automate answers to basic questions or let visitors know when you’ll be back online to answer in more detail.
6. Offer Virtual Experiences
Virtual experiences took off during the pandemic when people couldn’t travel. It was a way to escape and get a glimpse of the outside world from home.
Going forward, they can still be a great way to give travelers a taste of what awaits if they sign up for a trip. It’s a way to drive interest in your business and widen your revenue stream.
Take stock of aspects of your tours and offerings that excite clients the most. Then, see if it’s possible to adapt them to create a virtual experience that attracts attention online. Online classes, talks, and interactive events are a few ideas to consider.
Connection is key for travel businesses navigating the digital era. Take a human approach to your online strategies and wow clients with a great online experience.
Want to know more about WeTravel’s booking and payment solutions to help your business scale? Get in touch for a demo, or see how it works by watching the video below.