In Italy, we are preparing for the hottest tourist season of the year. Despite global pressures, high inflation, the complexity of recruiting, the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis and the looming economic recession, revitalizing tourism with data-driven decisions is important to ride the wave of change, and why not, anticipate it if possible.
power2Cloud focuses on digital transformation and has been working closely with institutions, tour operators, accommodations, transportation companies, and tourism operators for years, mapping and responding to the needs of those in the industry, because this industry is like technology, constantly updating.
There is much talk about digitization, tourism 4.0, yet there are still many difficulties.
In this article, we have collected the trends that seemed most interesting to us, offering ideas and easy-to-implement digital solutions to address the main challenges and help you:
Turning costs into investments when choosing your work tools
Increase profits by considering even the most neglected touchpoints
Centralize the adoption and selection of work tools
Simplify the work of your teams
Improve the experience of your users/customers by counting loyalty and repeat purchase.
Let’s start by saying that in addition to the PNRR calls, there are several facilities for the tourism sector if you want to aim for digitization. Your accountant can best advise you!
Those who have participated in NRP opportunities, such as Training 4.0, have not always understood the opportunity of these financial facilities.
Digital and innovative projects have been written and organized based on the funds provided, but often lacking has been the awareness that digitization can bring to sales, marketing and customer service initiatives.
Customizing or developing software and solutions in house is not always the best choice if you do not have investment and development teams to support you over time to ensure updates, integrations, and maintenance.
If you want to start digitizing your tourism-related business, you can start by adopting affordable subscription-based cloud solutions, starting from a few tens of euros per month.
One of the issues that penalizes tourism is time-consuming and resource-intensive data collection. Do you agree? Centralizing, managing and analyzing data with difficulty penalizes better strategies and decisions.
Customer Support is undoubtedly the heart of any organization, connected as it is to sales and after-sales, and generally to knowing your reality.
Users expect attention, speed, and excellence when dealing with Customer Service.
You, how do you handle requests from your users? Providing only an email or phone extension, even if dedicated, but disconnected from all your work tools, serves little purpose because:
you cannot access the user’s registry and history while you are providing assistance;
you can’t recognize the user who writes or calls, so you can’t personalize communications right away;
you don’t have track, in real time, of requests that have been processed, those that are pending, in short, what activities your team is dealing with;
you cannot share real-time notes with colleagues or assign tasks;
you waste time answering recurring questions on multiple channels (email, phone, social, chat), this can prevent standardization of answers and more generally requires a lot of resources;
requests are not prioritized, you cannot line up those that are urgent to be resolved;
too many work tools become difficult to manage and make your data insecure;
after-sales activities are hardly followed because your focus is on fixing only what is wrong or what could be better right now.
Did you know that you can immediately improve customer service by making it omnichannel? That is, centralizing all the interactions you receive from company channels such as forms, emails, chats, telephone, social networks (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn) and WhatsApp?
Needless to say, this makes not only your clients happy, but also your agents who often feel frustrated in their daily work routine.
It is always useful to analyze on a case-by-case basis, but here are some insights for improving your Customer Service:
centralizes all interactions to avoid having agents or users repeat themselves through omnichannel customer service software. Your customers will feel heard, you will always have the right context available;
provide a knowledge base or a section devoted to FAQs (frequently asked questions) on your site as well. Self-service, 24/7 resources increase trust and conversions and help you save time. Users love them!
think of an internal knowledge base dedicated to your employees-it can help them standardize work practices, expedite onboarding, keep track of documents and best practices;
organize workflows according to skills, connect the user to the most suitable agent. The intelligent omnichannel ticketing system can be connected to the chatbot or FAQ. Users can open a support ticket if they have not found what they are looking for;
Leverage automations in interlocution without forgetting customizations
encourages upsells (encourages customers to buy the product with greater value than the one they originally intended to buy) and cross-sells (selling additional products or services related to the product purchased by the customer);
Access reports and analytics: track open tickets, those resolved, understand what questions are frequently asked to improve your services/products/processes.
Does your site have few interactions? Probably an email, a phone call, or filling out a form is too much work for those users looking for impromptu information since they are so used to chat and WhatsApp.
Or is there not a blog active on your site with articles – SEO-optimized – dedicated to the useful information your buyer personas are looking for elsewhere right now.
Hotels, tour operators, transportation companies, and tour operators can offer direct, proactive assistance to users and consistently impeccable service. Have you ever thought of enabling a live chat or chat bot on your site?
Here are some examples you can consider according to your needs:
Why activate a Chatbot? A Chatbot takes care of repetitive questions and allows you to automate them 24/7, making your agents productive who can focus on conversations that require human interaction. Think about payment problems, the procedure for a refund, or a customized package.
This ploy results in many cases in a reduction in telephone, chat, and/or email inquiries, greater satisfaction in the customer experience, and incentivizes sales by eliminating potential objections.
The chatbot uses artificial intelligence to search your knowledge base for items that match the customer’s demand. Of course, you can create multiple unique bots for different brands, languages, local settings and departments, and a personalized and natural experience.
Users prefer to consult self-service resources for simpler questions and talk to an agent for more complex ones. Unlike the chatbot, in fact Livechat involves an agent.
You can include proactive notifications to invite customers to talk to your support team, optimize time and responses by creating workflows within the support team, associating the most qualified agent.
Our advice is to connect the live chat with your site and CRM, so you don’t lose important information and centralize all communication. Gathering more context about users and making it available to colleagues will certainly give you an edge.
WhatsApp Business connected to your CRM
Some CRMs allow you to connect the conversations you have on all your channels such as forms, chat, social, and even on WhatsApp Business (Customer Relationship Management). What does this mean?
You can automatically record, transfer and assign requests that come in from the most popular and widely used messaging chat without considering it a disconnected element from all other work tools.
To protect sensitive data and keep you in-house this certainly is a no-brainer; information must remain available to all colleagues, not just on this or that device, even if it is corporate.
Those who work in tourism often see the telephone switchboard as another nice headache; it’s the same for users, too: grueling waits, so many agents to interact with before talking to the right one, several pieces of information to share before getting the assistance or information you’re looking for. This is why customers often give up and decide to turn to competitors.
Why switch to VoIp versus traditional systems? We give you many good reasons to do so. A VoIP telephone switchboard offers scalability, flexibility and many useful features. Let’s see them together below.
Reduce your users’ wait time, offer constant availability
How annoying is it to be on hold, listening to the IVR routing to extension 1, then extension 5 before you can finally talk to someone?
With a VoIp switchboard, your number will always be free and super efficient because it will connect questions to the most appropriate answers.
Improves team productivity
With VoIp you can set up call groups, quickly pass the conversation to the appropriate colleague, record calls or suggest useful comments, without being overheard by end users. A feature beloved by onboarding resources and generally useful for handling more complex situations.
No hardware, cut costs!
Those who work in tourism are always on the move, at trade shows, in meetings, traveling, with clients. Counting on a VoIp PBX that operates without hardware offers flexibility and cuts costs compared to a wired infrastructure. VoIp works on computers, tablets and business cell phones, all that is needed is an Internet connection. Traffic is included.
Activate numbers in a few clicks in the countries where you work
and if you want to develop business, you can activate over 100 numbers in different countries around the world to be present with friendly numbers and recognized by your users locally. It is also known that tourism is often seasonal, you can activate or deactivate new users using only those you need.
You can access real-time reports and analytics to monitor the activities of sales and customer service colleagues, calls in progress, and everything else you need for your estimates.
It is not what it used to be. Capturing users’ attention today is not easy, often requires large investments, and results are never assured, which is why it is important to offer assistance, useful and interesting content, without being intrusive.
Activities to increase lead generation and nurturing are diverse and allow in just a few steps to analyze which strategies and contact channels work best.
Resorting to marketing automation does not mean taking away from communications the personalization that users seek. Conversely, if you profile contacts and companies correctly in your CRM (customer relationship management) you can target your content, whether a newsletter, promotion or invitation, to the right recipient.
Marketing automation is perfect because you can communicate with empathy and respond to the recipient’s behaviors by predicting different texts depending on the actions they will take-responding to the email, booking a meet, registering for an event.
Also don’t forget about content useful for inbound strategies to attract new users to your site organically, so without paid initiatives.
If the word digital signage does not ring a bell, know that it refers to digital signage conveyed through screens set up in public or private spaces.
Those who work in tourism offer and inhabit places to visit, to entertain, to queue, yet they are often devoid of information, have dull screens with content that is not responsive, that is, does not adapt to the medium in which it is projected.
Visual communication is rarely included in marketing and sales initiatives, yet it is strategic because it helps decrease perceived wait time, creates more engagement through useful and interactive content such as social feeds, offers, reviews, newsletter sign-ups.
There are easy-to-use software that can centralize the management of the content you project on tablets, TVs, kiosks, ledwalls, that you already own or plan to purchase, in hotels, tourism agencies, fairs, museums, tour operators, private or public transportation.
You can offer excursion recommendations depending on the weather, simultaneously let people know if there are any offers, diversify communications depending on the space, city or country where your devices are located.
A digital signage management software is valuable ally for
Calendarize and personalize content;
Simplify the maintenance of your devices;
also has features included for managing spaces (think hybrid work and booking meeting rooms, desks) and visitors.
Another issue close to our hearts is that of reputation. Do you have few reviews or if you have many are they bad?
If your brand has negative reviews that undermine your image, you should resort to adopting a tool to handle them properly, then training your agents.
Not responding to reviews does not work in your favor because:
your business channels are unmanned;
your Customer Service Department does not adequately respond to complaints;
handle a criticism, allows you to recover a disgruntled customer and lessen the impact of a negative review on your ability to attract new customers;
customers expect timely responses.
Customers want to be heard.
Why is it important to respond to reviews?
They increase your company’s visibility;
improve conversions because they help install trust;
offer information about your services;
allow you to improve your services.
Your customers’ appreciation is much more valuable than your self-statements, and this is nothing new! Managing reviews requires more than just highlighting them on your site’s homepage or sharing them occasionally in your social profile feed. So much information that you underestimate today can be strategic to your next marketing or sales initiative.
There is software that can automate the request, collection and management of reviews, analyzing, thanks to artificial intelligence, the sentiment with which they were written, to address the most urgent ones.
Did you know that reviews can also improve the ranking of your site and services?
To boost organic traffic online there are Rich Snippets, a still little-known SEO gimmick that can give your company’s organic search results a major boost.
The requirements for Rich Snippet eligibility, or those useful star ratings you sometimes see below organic search results, are very easy to meet.
The way your team works is not just your company’s business, indirectly it involves your customers, do you know why? All the information you collect and share with your colleagues must be rich and timely. Otherwise, the user is forced to repeat the same questions over and over again or wait online, in chat or at their email, for your agents to be fully aligned.
All teams, those in the office or remotely, need to share information and stay aligned on documents and data that affect your clients.
Choose cloud solutions, work suites that include not only SPAM- and virus-safe e-mail, but also Shared Drives and Documents where you can work with multiple hands to optimize productivity in just a few steps:
prefer tools that can grow with you, simple to use and manage;
centralize functionality and integrations so that data is not lost and can be shared more easily;
work at home, as well as in the office or on the road, protecting sensitive data.
If you would like to learn more about these digital opportunities for your tourism business, you can book a free consultation with power2Cloud experts.