Kurt Weinsheimer, Sojern
"Remember that the period between booking and stay creates a clear opportunity to build comfort and confidence."
Quote from Kurt Weinsheimer, chief solutions officer at Sojern, in an article on PhocusWire this week on the new customer planning and booking journey.
Each Friday, PhocusWire dissects and debates an industry trend or new development covered by PhocusWire that week.
We must be in one of the most frustrating periods in the history of the travel industry right now.
The pandemic has been a time of tragedy, with few untouched in one way or another. but it has also meant a gradual building of people desperate to get out and experience travel again.
Week after week we hear that the pent-up demand is there and yet nothing moves.
If you’re one of the travel companies that has managed to attract bookings for departures down the road, then the above comment, from Kurt Weinsheimer of Sojern, is your call to action.
In better times, travel companies have used the time between booking and stay to sell to customers - seat and room upgrades, food and beverage packages and tours.
Now is not the time for that. It’s a time to add reassurance through clear and up-to-date communication.
Travel companies have the opportunity to remind customers of all the good practice put in place around health and hygiene protocols in recent months, as well as a constant monitoring of the evolving situation.
Not only does it give customers a vital boost to confidence, that they’ve done the right thing but also, it will create a great deal of good will for travel companies that will likely be passed on to friends and family.
The reassurance piece won’t be easy right now especially as booking windows have shortened. Even the traveler categories that would have booked months in advance are waiting till the last minute.
But if your team has spent time creating messaging around traveler safety and health and hygiene, then it’s time to shout about it.
Traditionally the travel industry isn’t good at negative messaging, with one or two exceptions, but some in marketing circles are saying now is a good time to find some positives by exploiting a little of the negative.
They say it can create a shared experience, so remind travelers that you empathize with what they’ve been through, a well-earned rest is within sight and their safety is in your hands.
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