Few moments are more thrilling for customers than booking a bucket list trip. The internet is often where this customer journey begins—the place where travel influencers inspire consumers to jet set. The social media channels where far off adventures percolate in consumers’ minds, and they get closer to making a purchasing decision. 

If you own a travel business, you need to tap into this customer journey when the timing is just right. You also need to adopt the best technology to deliver concierge service before, during, and after someone jet sets. The ability to do so hinges on your customer messaging strategy. It has to convert energized browsers into confirmed travel bookings when they’re primed to buy. It has to give customers what they need when they need it.

Whether you organize relaxing retreats, host exciting tours, or book much-anticipated vacations, your travel business must connect with customers at the exact moment they want your products and/or services. Here are the top five customer messaging strategies to help you achieve this goal.


1. Pull customer messages from multiple channels into one inbox

Why do you fill your social media feeds with idyllic ocean vistas, rolling lush terrain, and colorfully-lit streets? Because the appeal of wanderlust is powerful—and it converts. One perfectly-timed snapshot can motivate a customer to contact you to book his or her dream trip. What closes this deal? Promptly engaging with these customers in direct messaging apps.

However, when your staff juggles a number of passwords and social media accounts, you may miss messages. Suddenly, that rare moment of peak wanderlust becomes a thing of the past and you lose a sale. The answer? A centralized communication hub like Podium.

Tools like Podium’s aggregate all of your text-based customer service questions into one central hub—regardless of its origin. Showing off fascinating tours and remarkable destinations on social media is half the battle; completing prompt bookings the the second. With Interaction Platform, you can engage with your customer when they’re 100% ready to buy, so you can book more deals with ease. 


2. Provide quick customer service on-the-go

Do you feel as though you need to remain tethered to your desk in order to sift through all of your customer interactions? Whether you’re scouting an exciting new location or finishing up a local walking tour, you can keep a close handle on customer service matters with both mobile and desktop apps

These apps allow you to text quick replies and promptly jump on any opportunities or important inquiries. That way, you won’t let running your business stop you from capturing new business.


3. Answer questions about bookings

Do you rely on mass email offers or generic promotions? Imagine the ability to target individual customers with unique travel experiences curated to their specific needs. Leveraging an open channel for real-time communication with travelers is a huge customer service opportunity. 

Make it a trip to remember by surprising your customers with on-the-go information that suits their specific interests. For instance, if a customer asks about an early morning yoga class you can follow-up with a discount or voucher for a popular poolside brunch that starts just after class ends. If you know a customer booked a romantic getaway for two, you can contact them in real-time to inform them they’ve been upgraded to your most charming moonlit table. While a mass e-blast might wind up in the cobwebs of their inbox, a curated text message can deliver a trip they will never forget. And it’ll increase the odds of them giving referrals to their friends and booking with your company again in the future. The lifetime value opportunity is huge from this type of personalized engagement. 


4. Provide safety tips, forms, and reminders before a booking

When preparing for a trip or vacation, people often feel frenzied with questions. Use a real-time messaging platform to position yourself as the immediately available, go-to expert for all things trip-related. Whether customers have a question about travel restrictions, local safety, or a form they must complete before departure, you can quickly reply and alleviate any pre-trip jitters. While a competitor may take days to reply, you’ll be seen as a trusted travel companion. 


5. Allow customers to send images of forms

It takes two to complete a travel booking: a customer to send in the proper documentation, and a company to complete a transaction. While your internal process may run like a well-oiled machine, customers may be harder to wrangle and throw a wrench in your confirmed bookings. When you use platforms like Webchat and Interaction Platform, customers can send images of these critical documents to your business. Often times that’s quicker and more convenient for customers, so they get it done quickly. And the quicker they do, the quicker you can wrap up a sale and move onto the next customer.

There’s no shortage of travel inspiration online. There is a shortage of companies that have savvy customer interaction platforms to properly leverage this wanderlust. You can use the previous tips and platforms to increase your travel bookings. By providing prompt, personalized information, you’ll whisk more customers away on their dream getaways in no-time—all while elevating your travel company as a stand-out in the industry.


Learn more about how live chat can improve your travel agency’s business.

Matt Lyman
Matt Lyman Retail Enterprise Account Executive

Matt Lyman is a hospitality professional at Podium, the premiere messaging platform that connects local businesses with their customers.

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