Peter Lorant, COO EMEA at Zendesk comments on the latest government travel announcement

San Francisco, CA, 2021-Aug-04 — /Travel PR News/ — The value of agility for a business is perhaps the most apparent in the travel sector right now. With an ever-changing landscape of travel restrictions and everything from green to ‘amber plus’ lists, those who are hoping to make the most of the summer holidays are accepting flexible planning as a new reality.

The resulting changes to travel schedules and testing requirements means greater uncertainty, and therefore an inbound wave of queries for customer services centres who are already feeling the strain- average weekly support requests have gone up 30% since the start of the pandemic. Being equipped to manage these inbound queries effectively and efficiently is vital for reassuring worried customers as well as cultivating their loyalty for future travel.

To keep travellers up-to-date, many organisations are scaling up their customer service across all channels (phone, chat, etc) while also thinking about how to be as agile as possible in delivering accurate service. An indispensable and often overlooked tool for companies to provide easy access to service has been a consistently updated knowledge base – and that’s especially true when things are changing quickly. By democratising your knowledge base with a connected and flexible platform, everyone on the CX team can help to flag outdated articles and FAQs and immediately access the latest updates so your customers are always getting the latest information, no matter how quickly things change.

Messaging has been the fastest growing channel since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Zendesk’s Customer Experience Trends Report 2021. In the UK alone, the use of WhatsApp for customer service has more than tripled in the same time. Messaging is personal, convenient and familiar, and is where customers are used to connecting with family and friends. Businesses are leveraging messaging on their end to build stronger and more personal relationships with their customers, while also supporting the use of automation to effectively scale support during peak periods. Threaded messaging also allows for a more holistic view of the customer, with history and context of their queries all in-line for quick review. Moreover, it is also relatively easy to add functionality, such as images, links, forms and chatbots to provide richer and more automated experiences.

A great example of meeting customers where they are is Baleària, which now sends all travel-related notifications and even reservation tickets to passengers via WhatsApp, as part of its omni-channel support strategy that was implemented in only two days, when the pandemic struck last year.