How the Channels of Communication around Travel are Broken
When the Verizon “Can you hear me now?” ad campaign first launched, consumers found it humorous even though the message of frustration caused by breaks in communication resonated beneath the surface. The irritation of how real this problem was (and still is today) grew each time the commercial aired, decreasing the funny side and increasing the ever growing annoyance of the problem. “I say that every day,” I commented to friends, colleagues or anyone who would listen to me, “When is someone going to fix this problem?”
The underlying aggravation we could all relate to was the experience of a total communication breakdown disrupting the initial purpose of the call. That is exactly how I feel about travel planning, the channel of communication is broken! Statistics indicate that planning a trip can now encompass visiting over 20 sites on the web and dozens of online sessions before booking. This research includes everything from reading reviews to watching videos to comparing rates and availability.
Before a decision is even made, email offers are bombarding the inbox, remarketing ads are stalking the consumer, and after completing a transaction, here come the upsell for ancillaries along with confirmations, cancellation policies, and itinerary schedules.
How is anyone supposed to sort, organize and collate all that information into a reasonable and easy format that can be accessed, edited and added too? Couple that with sharing all this information with others involved in the trip. Travel is not an isolated experience; it usually involves other people. A simple business trip requires scheduling of meetings, making dinner arrangements and visiting local offices.
If it’s a family affair (wedding, reunion, vacation) the number of details and information multiplies – making it virtually impossible to pull all elements of the trip into a usable, shareable format. Who has the time for that?
Working with a Travel Agent or Tour Operator is a great start because they will put an itinerary together for you. However where do you add a dining recommendation from a friend, a coupon received through a credit card, the address and phone numbers of the friends and family you will visit? And how will you be able to stay connected with everyone as details change of your dynamic travel journey?
The time has come for travel brands to aggregate details into one place instead of providing traveler information in fragmented pieces. This includes trip details, recommendations, and destination information to enhance the journey for the consumer. The good news is; this kind of collaboration benefits travel brands too. Having a centralized location for information provides the hotels, attractions and restaurants a place to connect with special offers in a timely way throughout the travel lifecycle. The traveler wins as this alleviates the stress of trying to dig up a coupon or the itinerary they received by email.
Imagine, one place to plan, to experience, to communicate, to share and optimize your trip experience all while eliminating frustration and aggravation! Can you hear me now?