Travel Agents are failing to deliver an acceptable customer experience according to recent research

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Travel Agents aren’t equipped to offer a customer experience at the level the modern travel consumer expects, according to research from Now Interact

By neglecting to take advantage of the data already sitting on their websites, far too many travel companies restrict their profitability and offer a disjointed customer experience.

Travel Agents aren’t equipped to offer a customer experience at the level the modern travel consumer expects. That’s the headline finding from new research conducted by leading omnichannel technology vendor, Now Interact. The research examined the way that 31 leading European Travel Agents and Travel Management Companies (TMCs) offer contact channels to their online visitors, concluding that data isn’t being used to anywhere near its full potential.

“An outstanding customer experience is fast becoming a consumer’s priority, which should be good news for service-minded providers like Travel Agents and TMCs. But, by neglecting to take advantage of the data already sitting on their websites, far too many companies restrict their profitability and offer a disjointed customer experience.” Magnus Åström, CEO and Founder of Now Interact

The research lays bare the five areas where Travel Agents and TMCs fail to deliver on customer experience:

  • They need to harness the power of personalization: 68% of Travel Agents and TMCs, a firm majority, offer a number to call in to speak to an Agent on their homepage.

It’s impossible to know why each individual user is on a website as soon as they land on the homepage, and the fact that all visitors are being given the same homepage treatment indicates both a lack of intelligent technology being deployed on sites, and a dangerous inclination to group all customers together, regardless of their reason for being online.

  • Travel Agents aren’t meeting the demand for a seamless customer experience: Although Travel Agents have a high average of 25 trackers on their websites, they aren’t using the data that they’re collecting to make any significant improvements to the real-time customer experience.

The vast majority of firms are leaving the online experience online, and failing to connect any information about the online journey to advisors in the call center.

  • They don’t have a diverse contact channel offering: Just 22% of Travel Agents offer time-saving chat as an option at any point during the customer journey. This means that a lot of customers aren’t able to communicate with their Travel Agent through their preferred channel, being forced instead to spend their time phoning in to the call center. Consumers like it when their time is valued: Travel Agents aren’t currently using technology that respects this.
  • They aren’t being responsive to each consumer’s needs: Only 10% of Travel Agents offer contact channels proactively on their sites, meaning companies that offer alternative contact channels to different consumer groups depending on surf journey are in the minority. This demonstrates that not enough is being gleaned from website data to understand why each individual visitor is online; Agents are not doing enough to grab each of these visitors’ attention at the moment that they most need it.
  • Travel Agents are too fixated on following transactional models: Despite the fact that most people visit Travel Agent websites to dream about their holidays, not necessarily to purchase, the sites are fully geared towards selling. With there being an average of 3 clicks until each visitor is forced into the sales funnel, there’s little room for inspiration.

The full results can be found in Now Interact’s latest research paper, ‘Using Data to Develop a Concierge Mindset in the Travel Industry’. Download a copy of the research paper here: https://nowinteract.com/travel/why-travel-agents-are-failing-at-cx/

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About Now Interact: Now Interact creates Predictive Intelligence applications that use both online and offline data to enable the next generation of personalization. Now Interact uses machine-learning algorithms to offer brands a unique approach to bridging the gap between online and call center operations, using technology that optimizes the combined revenue from these operations whilst at the same time lowering overall cost. Now Interact works with over 50 innovative broadband, e-commerce, energy, financial services, insurance and telecom company; helping them harness the power of real-time customer data to deliver an excellent customer experience. Click here to read more about the Now Interact solution: https://nowinteract.com/solution/

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Leslie McArdle
@nowinteract
since: 06/2012
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