Bulk SMS: The “Polite” Pal of the Travel Industry
The modern travel marketer needs to rework their initiatives with the changing facades of the travel consumer's behavior. The present-day travel consumer has gone mobile with his "always-on-the-go" nature, he has gone local for his need to extract information from his immediate environment, and most importantly he has redefined his social self by sharing his experiences with others on social platforms. The drive to keep hyper-interactive consumers connected with brands and the judgment to combine the forces of going local, social, and mobile showed the travel marketers the most effective way to reach their customers- the bulk SMS way! The evolving consumer behavior and these three aspects also explain why today's SMS travel campaigns are more like experience provider and less like content provider.
The effectiveness of a mobile marketing campaign depends on the marketer's ability to launch geo-specific updates, taking into account the demographics and social interests of the mobile audience. Mobile ads that are based on time targeting are able to cater to a consumer's immediate need. This is the need that will spark the rise and propagation of social-geo targeting technology in times to come. Just imagine the impact when you are able to serve a coupon or a mobile ad about your restaurant to a traveler who is located in close proximity to your business. Lastminute.com uses SMS alerts to maintain contact with customers and Competitor Expedia uses its mobile app Trip Assist to allow consumers to research flights, hotels, destinations, and to manage their schedules. Continental Airlines is keeping travelers updated with its popular TripAlert and Flight Status Notification SMS alerts.
It’s true that bulk SMS is the travel industry's best friend at this moment. A vital part of customer communication strategy, bulk SMS is an unambiguous way to send updates, confirmations, and key information about tour packages to consumers. Here are a few good examples of how the travel and tourism industry uses bulk SMS to optimal effect:
- Reservations: When a customer opts for booking or reservation of your transport, tour, or accommodation, it is always a good business practice to confirm the transaction by means of an SMS. That way, you are not only giving your customers some peace of mind, but also a booking record which they can easily refer to at all times- especially under conditions in which they might not have access to email.
- Change of Schedules: Changes, whether due to unavoidable transport delays or from the customer's side, are pretty common in holiday and travel bookings. Bulk SMS is the fastest and perhaps the most effective way to convey the details pertaining to the last-minute changes to a customer regardless of his location. SMS, being a written documentation, eliminates the possibilities of miscommunication or misunderstanding when it comes to keeping a record of flight numbers, time or arrival, and similar facts.
- Self Catering: Some vacationers opt for self-catering to experience an interrupted holiday. Bulk SMS can keep them updated on emergency contact numbers or names or may just be meant to send out a warm welcome message as they step into their vacation home. These details can be found in an email printout form, but there’s always a possibility that an utterly excited vacationer will leave the hardcopy at home. Text messages provide handy information that moves along with its owner throughout his trip.
The travel and tourism industry views customer service as a tool for distinction. And it goes beyond meeting the basic requirements to provide value additions and to create new definitions of excellence. An unhappy customer has the power to turn hundreds of prospects away and situation demands that you create new levels of satisfaction for your client. Information, timely and accurate, is the pillar of any business and this is the reason why bulk SMS is emerging as a sustainability factor for the travel industry in these days.