The global travel and tourism market is poised to reach over $8.9 trillion by 2026, with an estimated growth rate of 3.1% from 2021 to 2026. This dynamic and competitive industry requires customer retention to succeed in the face of fierce competition. Therefore, customer experience (CX) and the ability to drive customer loyalty are crucial in the travel and hospitality sector to provide financial stability and build a positive brand reputation. With numerous options and service providers available, customers expect a seamless, consistent and reliable experience throughout their entire journey.
With as many as 50% of consumers prepared to switch to a competitor after a single bad experience, how can brands engage, retain and build customer loyalty?
For travel and hospitality brands, social media is an important element in customer experience management. Social media provides an opportunity to build customer loyalty and generate leads, gather feedback and marketing efforts. Social commerce is gaining significance with the rise of social media as a crucial sales channel.
This demonstrates how influential social media is and how it has become an integral part of CX in the travel and hospitality industry CX. Leveraged effectively social is a powerful platform that can be used to inform, engage and delight customers.
Through social channels, brands have access to valuable customer insights and a platform to build lasting customer relationships.
1. Understand customer behavior
Important customer insights, including buying habits and product preferences, are revealed through structured social listening and social surveys. This real-time and unfiltered feedback enables brands to identify areas for improvement for example, travel customers often share their personal experiences of hotels, restaurants or airlines on social media sites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp and Google Reviews. This data can be leveraged to pinpoint areas for development and monitor changes in customer sentiment over time, enabling brands to move quickly to address issues or concerns. Additionally, data from social media interactions and reviews can be used to measure brands’ reach, engagement and audience demographics.
2. Increase brand accessibility
Social media is the human face of your brand creating a space to bring your mission, purpose, values and culture to life. Connecting with customers on a more personal level through social media customer care builds trust and loyalty.
3. Improve brand awareness
Social media builds your brand reputation and create the opportunity to engage with new potential customers. As a starting point, brands can use their social media channels to reach a wider audience by promoting their products and services. But even more effective is harnessing the power of your customers to build your brand by encouraging them to share their experiences, a positive customer review or a five-star rating builds credibility in the market.
4. Offer real-time customer engagement
Today, consumers want instant service. The real-time nature of social platforms makes them an ideal channel for consumer engagement. This is especially important in the travel and hospitality industry where, consumers have frequent questions about reservations and services. Applying automation across social channels enables brands to respond instantly to routine queries, direct customers to self-service solutions and route high-value inquiries directly to live agents. Responding and acting on these queries quickly demonstrates a brand’s commitment to their customers, building engagement and loyalty.
5. Engage with targeted promotions
Everyone likes to be rewarded from time to time. Targeted promotions and offers keep your customers coming back to your brand. By curating special offers across social channels, travel and hospitality brands can influence buyer behavior across seasonal peaks and troughs. Personalized offers also make customers feel understood by your brand and, by making them feel as though they belong to an exclusive, like-minded community, strengthen customer loyalty.
Social media channels offer the easy ability to personalize messages. Brands can tailor experiences that are more relevant and enticing to individual customers by leveraging insights into their purchase habits and preferences to customize experiences that are relevant to an individual. For example, in the travel and hospitality sector, an individual’s past hotel, food, destination and budget preferences, as well as abandoned carts Information can be used to offer recommendations and holiday packages that suit their requirements, driving upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
With social media playing an ever-increasing role in consumers’ travel and hospitality choices, brands can no longer take chances with their social media channels. A well-defined engagement strategy ensures your social media channels attract and engage your customers. To create a robust social media strategy, brands must carefully consider and define the role their social channels are intended to play for the brand and the expectations their customers have. Aligning behind a well-planned social media strategy enables companies to improve CX and increase brand accessibility.