How to Offer a Seamless Online Booking Experience to Travelling Clients
E-commerce has been expanding at a stunning rate for quite some time now. The pandemic has further notched up its progress. Today, e-commerce doesn’t just entail product shopping. It now also covers the provision of services. For instance, travellers are not required to visit the brick-and-mortar office of a travel and tour agency to book their tours anymore. They can take care of every bit of their travel itinerary online.
While for consumers it is exceedingly convenient and hassle-free to have a complete online booking experience, travel businesses need to do a lot of groundwork to provide that experience. For many budding travel businesses or the ones that are new to the digital medium, it becomes quite a challenge to deliver consumers on that front.
For that matter, we have put together this post where we will discuss the steps that travel businesses need to take for providing a complete online travel booking experience to their clients.
Stack Up All the Details on Online Platforms
The first thing about a complete online transaction is it involves least or no person-to-person correspondence. To put it in simple words and the context of travel operations, you need to make sure that a client doesn’t have to call you or visit you in person to get any information about any of your travel services, products, and plans.
Therefore, make sure every relevant detail about what you offer is available either on your social media platforms, website, or booking engine. Travel agencies that offer online bookings but require customers to contact them for further information often lose a big chunk of sales.
Customers like their plans and rates but switch to other options just because they don’t want to go back and forth with representatives. By stacking all the relevant information on online platforms and making it easily accessible, travel agencies can prevent the outflux of customers when they are already at the end of the sales funnel.
Have an Intuitive Booking Engine with Friendly UI
After scanning through the available information and making their mind for good, customers start using the travel booking engine of an agency to book their tour. It won’t be wrong to say that the engine acts as a virtual booking office of a travel company. And there is no way to get any business if your booking office is not functioning properly.
Therefore, make sure you get a custom booking engine developed for your travel business that is highly responsive and agile and boasts a friendly user interface. A customer doesn’t have to undergo long waits between completing two steps on the booking page. Also, they should be able to sort out how the engine works in the first iteration.
Just like a physical travel office with efficient and friendly staff succeed in selling more tours and plans, a booking engine with great UI and high responsiveness also ensures that more users leave it after successfully book their tour.
Integrate a Virtual Assistant on the Booking Page
Many times customers come across unique problems and issues that are not covered in the available information. A client may come up with any query that is not addressed in the FAQ section either. For all such instances, you should integrate a virtual assistant (e.g. a chatbot) into the booking engine that customers can summon when they instantaneously want to ask anything.
Virtual assistants devised on AI principles can answer almost all customer queries. However, you must give clients an option to chat with an actual representative for their unique queries and questions. Most customers consider real human representatives more reliable than computer-operated virtual assistants for that information.
Offer Multiple Secure and Integrated Payment Options
An online travel booking doesn’t just end at selecting the dates, tickets and finalising the accommodation details. At the end of all of it, a customer has to make the payment. It is a tricky part to handle because online payments involve the provision of confidential information from the client. Customers want to ensure that they are entering that information on a fail-safe and reliable page.
To provide that assurance to clients, you need to make certain that your booking engine doesn’t redirect customers to other pages and platforms for payment. Many people abruptly quit the booking process when they are redirected to other pages. Make sure customers can make payments right from the payment options integrated into your booking engine. Also, ensure that your payment window has updated SSL certificates and feature PCI-compliant options.
Besides secure and integrated payment protocols, you also need to offer more options. When your booking engine offers more than one payment option, it essentially caters to a wide range of potential customers. Many times a customer cancels the transaction just because they don’t get the payment option they are looking for.
Pick Affiliates that Also Offer Seamless Online Experience with their Services
A travel agency doesn’t operate in a vacuum. It works with a group of partners and affiliates. From airlines to ride services and hotels, many other service providers are part of the plans and tour an agency or operator sales. To offer a seamless and complete online travel booking experience, it is imperative that all those stakeholders also practice the same level of proficiency and vim on the digital medium with their services.
When every affiliate and partner has more or less the same digital approach as the travel agency, it creates a synergy that enables the agency to offer a seamless online booking experience to its clients that doesn’t involve any delays and back and forth.
A travel booking engine is at the core of offering a seamless booking experience. To get a responsive booking engine tailored in line with your business requirements, you should get in touch with TravnetTech. Besides booking engine, the firm can also help you with a travel management system, travel back office, marketing automation, and all the other digital resources your travel business needs.