With countless travel apps competing for the travelers’ attention TMCs are coming under even more pressure to build their own mobile presence with a feature set that enables them to keep travelers regularly engaged with the travel program. When we consider that 64% of all business travellers use mobile devices to check travel itineraries one or more times a day it doesn’t take a mathematician to work out the volume of engagement opportunities travel brands miss out on a daily basis as a result of not having their own mobile offering.
There is no doubt that mobile technologies are a disruptive force and it has become challenging for TMCs to respond to the service demands of travelers. However by providing their own end to end mobile solutions travel brands have the opportunity to join the dots throughout the travel experience and keep travelers engaged by providing them with the information they want, when they want it.
At Travelport Digital we’ve built a mobile engagement platform with itinerary management at its core - Travelport Trip Assist - and in this blog we’re going to take a closer look at how this solution helps TMCs build more long term traveler relationships by keeping travelers engaged in the travel program.
Reducing the need to use third party apps…
Let’s face it - travel can be complex. Especially when you consider travelers may need to navigate multiple bookings within the one trip. We know that 23% of apps are used only once before being ignored it highlights the importance of providing a mobile experience that makes an instant impression and introduces enough relevant touchpoints to entice the traveler back. Adopting a user centric design the Trip Assist solution provide rich itinerary data by delivering live trip data directly to the app to provide real-time updates on flights, hotel stay, ground transfers and rail journeys. Incorporating additional features such as native mapping the user to view the location of their hotel, ground transfer or rail station as well as providing directions. By offering these features the Trip Assist solution provides travelers with a centralized location for all trip related information to provide a more cohesive view of the trip and cuts out the need to use alternative sources for trip related info.
Enchancing the level of customer service you offer
Here’s an amazing stat...The average person touches his or her phone over 2,600 times a day! So, mobile provides an abundance of new opportunities for travel brands to leverage direct communication with travelers. Flight disruptions and cancellations have become an inevitable part of travel and with that comes stress and anxiety. By incorporating real-time flight status feeds directly to the app our Trip Assist solution keeps travelers informed with any trip related changes as and when they happen.
Using real-time data from Flightstats the Trip Assist solution empowers TMCs to send targeted and contextual messages such as flight delays, cancellations, gate changes, baggage carousel information and diversion updates. TMCs will also be able to provide a direct line to the support agent using the ‘click to call’ feature - this feature not only provides travelers with the security of knowing that an agent is always accessible but also encourages re-engagement with the app. With travelers demanding more self serve capabilities the Trip Assist solution will also be adding the ability to modify bookings and travel arrangements directly within the app without the need to use other aggregators.
We carried out detailed usability studies and interviews with business travelers, with 9 out of 10 respondents’ expectation that they would be able to change their flight instantaneously from within the app. This becomes particularly significant in the case of corporate travel as it not only extends the TMCs value proposition BUT it also helps reduce service costs significantly.
Improving engagement post booking
Travelers today desire the personal touch of engaging directly with the travel brand throughout their journey, however very few TMCs or travel agencies have a post booking contact strategy. Trip Assist helps solve this post-booking challenge. It provides updated flight times, departure gates, hotel locations or car hire details that become part of the travelers’ daily online interactions.
Recent research has shown that travel managers believe mobility (booking through mobile, mobile itinerary management and staying in touch via messaging) is a top priority. Incorporating features such as new trip alerts, contextual trip updates, the ability to import new trips to their itinerary and the provision of richer trip information the Trip Assist solution enables TMCs to forge a direct line of engagement with the traveler. These features provide the traveler with a more compelling reason to engage with your TMC far beyond simply researching and booking a flight or hotel accommodation.
Promoting the travel program
Leveraging the capabilities within Trip Assist can also help TMCs increase the level of compliance with the travel program. Using the messaging capabilities within the Trip Assist solution TMCs can create on demand, broadcast or automated messages to provide the traveler with contextual updates and guidance throughout the journey. Helpful prompts such as trip updates, expense reminders, insurance policy and transport options can all encourage in-program behaviour. Combining this messaging capability within a centralized mobile itinerary provides travelers with one single source for finding out about their travel program and key in-trip information, such as approved services, travel partners or whether breakfast is included in their hotel stay.
With these reliable tools Trip Assist offers TMCs the ability to enhance the entire end-to-end journey by providing travelers with more personalized updates, offers and instructions – all through one dedicated itinerary solution.
Providing deeper customer learnings
By providing an end to end mobile itinerary solution for travelers Trip Assist provides TMCs with a rich source of information about the habits of their customers while they are on the go. By adding new touchpoints with the traveler at each stage of the journey the Trip Assist solution provides insight into the destinations a traveler frequents, when they are most likely to travel, the types of car hire or ground transport they like as well as any feedback the traveler provides about their trip experience.
For travel brands the ability to position individual or customized experiences is a critical value proposition in creating a lasting bond. Using the analytics capabilities that support the Trip Assist solution TMCs can learn more about the usage behaviours, priorities and needs of the traveler. These insights can help inform the travel program, gauge satisfaction levels and enable TMCs to evaluate opportunities to improve and enhance the services and technology solutions they offer.
With the emergence of a mobile centric culture consumers have become increasingly connected to the world of digital information while on the move. The reality now is travelers expect to be able access information from the palm of their hands at anytime, anywhere and if you don’t deliver a solution that meets these expectations they’ll find a substitute that will.
With our Trip Assist solution we’ve built a mobile engagement platform that helps TMCs enhance the level of customer service they offer, increase engagement post booking, deliver deeper insight into customer interactions and reduce the need for travelers to use other third party apps . By providing an end to end solution for their travelers Trip Assist will not only help ensure travelers stay engaged with the travel program but also help build more valuable relationships in the long term.
To find out more about how you can keep travelers engaged in the travel program why not request a more detailed demo of our Trip Assist solution today.