As specialists in Financial Protection, we know where trust between traveller and travel provider is built as well as where it can break down. We thought we would break up Will’s payments posts with some of our member’s learnings on building long-standing relationships with their travellers through consumer confidence.
Purchasing an intangible product, a year in advance, for example, whether it’s an airport transfer or a bucket-list dream break, is no doubt a risk. The completion of any travel purchase symbolises an act of trust between the purchaser and provider. Trust that not only will the product and the company still exist next year, but also that personal details will be stored securely, queries will be answered – and promptly, and should anything go wrong between payment and travel then the Travel Provider will be on hand to resolve and recompense as per the agreed booking Terms and Conditions.
Terms and Conditions
Terms and Conditions are the providers first opportunity to set out exactly what your customer can expect before, during and after travel. Covering as many eventualities as possible can mean your Terms and Conditions end up being pretty exhaustive but this is crucial in managing the consumer’s expectations, enforcing the rules and ensuring all parties uphold their side of the agreement. Even if the amount of information looks overwhelming do not reduce it down – separate it into manageable sections with clear headings that can easily be navigated by a traveller.
At Trust My Travel, the ways in which we conduct ourselves, online, offline, in and out of the office is a key part of our offering as a service provider. We hold ourselves and each other accountable and pride ourselves on towing the line between being personable and being professional. Viewing how you communicate as a tool to building long-standing relationships with your customers means that in the unavoidable event that at some point in the future for some as yet unknown reason you can’t deliver a product, all is not lost – In fact, you have come to the rescue and exceeded expectations to guarantee a positive experience despite the circumstances and ideally secure repeat custom. With these few easy steps, you can safeguard the business you have and continue to grow it as peoples trust in your brand grows.
We can’t emphasise contractibility and transparency enough. Be responsive and be personal; Live Chat has become the standard for efficient, concierge- style customer service for e-commerce websites. If inquiries from customers don’t quite warrant Live Chat but responding is becoming an overwhelming task, we suggest you invest in a ticketing system so that all inquiries are recorded and can be resolved in order of priority as well as assigned to the relevant department or team member. If you are finding responding to numerous similar messages time-consuming, create a series of template responses and update details where required. And for queries that will take a little longer to solve, implement an automated email response during busy times and make a note of the most common questions you are asked. You can also reduce time spent typing by keeping a list of template answers handy to cut and paste where possible or sending customers to an FAQ section.
Having read and understood the product for sale, ideally the next step for consumers is to make payment, which brings us to the next key consideration: card security. Easy checkout and requesting minimal information all look great on a website and boost conversion rates on checkout pages – Especially to fraudsters! Ensure that you and your customers are not vulnerable to fraud by implementing fraud protection tools and weed out the dodgy booking which will ultimately end up costing you money. If you also manage your website yourself use SSL authentication for web and data protection.
Reliability and accountability go a long way in building a relationship and like all long-term relationships, there are bound to be a few bumps in the road. Assure customers that should anything happen to affect the Travel Provider being able to deliver the product in the time between booking and travel their money is protected. Having Financial Protection in place for your customers means no confusion or panic should the worst happen, and in many countries, it is also a legal requirement.
It’s also important to bear in mind that in a digital age of liking, sharing and rating, a Travel Provider with no reviews (good or bad) rings alarm bells to potential purchasers. This means in order to attract an online audience; your brand and reputation are as important as your products. Encourage your existing customers to share their experiences and recommend your services to others.
Travellers’ bucket list and budget determine how much they are willing to spend on travel – as does exclusivity of the product – but in an increasingly crowded marketplace, the provider chosen to entrust with hard earned money is more often determined by how trustworthy each provider is.