With the advancement and development of the Internet, there is a shift from offline to online travel agencies. The loyalty of customers has become a challenge which goes hand in hand with advantages such as fast speed and convenience. The aims of this article are to identify what are the significant factors that have an impact on customer loyalty to online travel agencies. If you are in the travel business you always look for new customers to grow your revenue by bringing new customers and retaining the existing ones. The idea of loyalty has been defined as repeat purchasing behaviours.
“Despite increasing competition, there are still ways to attract customers and keep the existing one loyal by customer loyalty programs, give first-time customers a reason to pick you and give existing customers a reason to return.”
Launching a customer loyalty program gives us deep insight into business problems as well as solutions!
To boost the sales in the tour operator industry it is very important to retain the customers and their loyalty. This will help boost business sales resulting in business profits to keep the bar of business high, it’s important to maintain the loyalty with existing customers losing them would be too expensive and time-consuming. It is very important for any business to maintain a balance.
So, what are some of the biggest challenges travel agencies are generally facing?
● Motivating existing customers to repurchase
● Attracting new customers to your brand
● Increasing attention toward higher-profit products
Let’s have a look at the importance and role of a customer loyalty program in fulfilling these goals.
The worth of existing customers is very important that will always make them return to a brand, if an agency recognizes and understands their loyalty beyond a just ‘thank you’, it’ll grow with unimaginable success. Value, meaning and the thankfulness or gratitude towards customers should be felt by the travel service providers and offered to customers as discounts/offers.
Best value or value for money always attracts customers and keeps them loyal to the brand as long as they attract customers with the features, recognition and understanding.
The company can generate targeted new offers and promotions for customers. Based on their past experiences. Keeping all the feedback in mind helps create an emotional relationship between customer and brand they will be happy and attracted by awards – and quite willing to repeat purchases. Small loyalty and reward points, added perks, and little extra on their trip will always make them happy. With the growth of online channels, there is an increased technological complex which also makes customers face many issues and they find the purchasing process on the internet sometimes very complicated, it always takes a long time for them to compare prices in different websites because of the lack of human interaction. So, to increase their loyalty customer help desk which can help out with human touch will enhance brand and customer relationship. It is always easy to make bookings via calls, create a system to call customers whenever they face hurdles with online bookings.
The value of your clients, relationships and your revenue all can be increased multiple times by loyalty programmes and it looks like the important question which arises here isn’t whether you ought to have a loyalty program but the way to get clients to check-in for it.
You are lucky – within the time and age when data privacy may be a hot stock, it’s comforting to understand that 76% of travellers are still not happy to share personal data information in exchange for loyalty reward points, promotions benefits, or priority luxury services. They offer advantages such as long-standing loyalty programs, and better competition from other companies, it is of vital importance for travel agencies to find out ways to improve their customer loyalty.
How to Build Customer Loyalty and Get Repeat Bookings for Your Travel Business
In today’s world, everyone needs a break from his/her routine work. Nowadays people love to travel a lot rather than staying at the house, it doesn’t matter if it’s a long holiday trip or just weekend people love to travel. The trip is a relaxing experience for everyone and it’s mandatory to keep it as relaxed as possible for the clients, including spa, massages and relaxing music experience for them.
80% of business comes from 20% satisfied customers.
So, what do they need? A perfect holiday trip to relax and the best service possible. Service is the key factor to make your customers happy and promote your business by winning their hearts.
Few key points to win your customers loyalty:
● Deliver what you promised when you finalized the booking.
● Respect your customer, if you are aiming for the costliest thing in the world and that is mouth publicity.
● Give them something extra which was not included in their package.
● Provide them hygienic rooms and clean environment.
● Bring them an amazing experience which they never forget.
● Website trust has a high degree of connection with online customer loyalty which can greatly influence customers’ future purchasing behaviour in the online atmosphere.
● Trusting environment that could improve loyalty customer’s willingness to purchase from a website, and the customer has little possibility to switch websites.
● Identified factors which can improve customers loyalty are E-service quality, customer trust, perceived customer value, switching costs, brand, customer perceived risks and customer experience.
These are a few major factors that make sure your name comes first in your customer’s mind when he/she plans to travel again.
Take feedback when your customers have completed the trip. This could be winning long-term loyalty. Send them promotional emails and messages about your latest offers and the recommended places. Ask them to share their experience with their relatives and friends.
To develop long term relationships e-service quality is used as a strategic element by travel agencies to increase competitiveness. Thus, e-service quality is an important factor of online customer loyalty: elements such as Internet technologies, website design and website content. They can all have a positive impact on customer loyalty. It includes overall information, package features, marketing and promotion strategies and tangibility of products or intangibility of services, consider following these strategies for providing valuable E-services:
1. Useful information: Highlight the useful data.
2. Customization: Collect customers recent searches from your app and offer discounts on the same.
3. Responsiveness is E-service quality that has a positive influence on customer loyalty to online travel agencies. Customer Trust Due to lack of touch of online travel agencies, customers feel more riskier and are hesitant when making a decision.
4. Trust, thus, acts as a foundation for the customer-supplier relationship for the travel agency. Claiming the sense of security held by the tourists that the travel agency would meet his consumption expectations.
A specialized software might be deployed by a touring agency which may prove beneficial for managing their tour and travel business process. Firstly, they will simplify the web setup so it’s easy to know they have less technological problems. More importantly, they’re going to catch opportunities they could not recognize otherwise. This requires a technologically sound staff.
The next step is encouraging the client to gather the reward points that are missing by offering them deals on products in the price range necessary to hide the points gaps. Your clients suddenly feel pressure to gather the missing points and unlock hidden loyalty award points. These points will result in an engaging app experience and develop habits of customers to regularly visit the app/website.
We’ve listed some vital steps the tour agencies shouldn’t forget when being in touch with their clients below.
Every customer is vital. Do not rule anyone out, maybe they need to have done just one purchase with you. One positive experience means good reputation and positive word-of-mouth for your agencies. A verbal advertisement can prove boon for you.
Take time to invest. The difference between a satisfied customer and a loyal customer is none, you can always convert a satisfied customer into a loyal one. When customers realise and appreciate what you as a corporation give to them, they will offer you something more reciprocally. The private touch is additionally important to be kept within the subsequent weeks of the purchased product. Human touch plays an important role. In the form of good reviews on different channels, or they simply re-purchase something at your website again. Taking time for your customers and giving a private touch will increase the prospect of getting loyal customers.
Remember, your team is the key to success. Work together and have an equivalent mind-set. Your backend can increase your revenue many fold by their effective skills.
Measure your loyalty. It’s important to understand the efforts you set on your customers are paying off, otherwise you’ve got no knowledge of what’s working well and what needs serious improvement. Measuring loyalty is that success. Loyalty is with a net promoter score Survey. A survey will ask your customers how likely they’re to recommend your brand to their friends on a scale from 1 to 10. Any customer answering with a 9 or 10 is seen as promoters. This will positively affect productivity and sales and revenues generated out of it as well.
When the customers feel more confident in travel agencies ability to do what was promised and act responsibly, they will become more loyal to the agency. Overall, a trusting atmosphere is most importantly needed to be created in order to increase loyalty positively.
Nothing replaces customer’s trust. Undoubtedly, trust can be regarded as the essential factor that exists before any intention or behaviour of buying, no matter online or offline travel agencies. Customers who have confidence in online travel agency websites have a positive attitude toward the agency and are more likely to be loyal to the brand.
Through a quantitative questionnaire research method, it is found that customer trust, perceived customer value, and brand have a positive impact on customer loyalty to online travel operator agencies while switching costs and perceived customer risks have a negative impact on online customer loyalty. These results can be seen as helpful indicators for travel operators to design better and attractive online platforms which can make transaction easy and efficient marketing strategies to improve customer loyalty.
To some extent, these factors can act as a significant base for agency operators to implement and develop marketing strategies to improve customer loyalty toward brands. Some of the useful strategic plans and implementing tools to improve customer loyalty to E- travel agencies are outlined below.
Firstly, tourism marketers cannot neglect any variables. online websites with bad service quality won’t attract worthy customers. And customers with a negative experience will not risk repeating again. One basic principle is to ensure that the data is complete and accurate. This could be the base of good design software that can connect well with customers. Usually, more traffic could be seen on user’s friendly websites. Customized and personalized services can attract more clients. Customer support and Quick responses regarding services are important to answer any questions regarding journey, travel packages, itineraries, and accommodation reservation and associated services.
Tourists should be notified when travel activities are cancelled or any changes are there and explain the reasons if any.
Travelling agencies can appoint qualified licensed tour guides to handle tour groups. Additionally, updating customers of their rights, warranty, money-back guarantees are also of vital importance to them.
So, the final conclusion: trust and loyalty toward clients are pillars of success!