We live, we die and the wheels on the bus go round and round
– Edward Cole, “The Bucket List”
Perhaps that’s why Millennials care so much about travel and experience; they’re trying to fill the space between “live” and “die” with as many experiences as possible – what Tony Robbins refers to as the “juice of life”.
Whatever the case, there is no disputing that Millennials – and their progeny, Generation Alpha – are prime target markets for the travel industry.
Two Generations Linked By Tech
While Gen Alphas (those born after 2010) are still too young to travel on their own, they are having a profound effect on what kind of travel and travel destinations their parents, the Millennials, are choosing.
These two generations of travelers have one thing firmly in common: technology.
Millennials grew up with computers in the classrooms and smartphones in their hip pockets. Their children, Gen Alphas, have mobile devices in their hands before they can walk and friends on social media they’ve never met.
The Alpha Traveler
In a recent study of family travel trends, Expedia Media Services discovered that roughly 80% of families plan trips together and more than half said their Gen Alpha kids and grandkids showed them travel ideas online.
Destination selection and trip activities top the list when planning a holiday with Gen Alphas.
In order for travel companies to reach these two generations, they must do so through online methods that are fully optimized for mobile use.
Rely on Personalized Service To Beat The Big Guys
Small and medium sized travel and hotel companies must also compete with firms that already have an enormous online presence – firms like Expedia, TripAdvisor and Booking.com.
While it’s likely impossible for the small companies to match the marketing budget of an Expedia, where they can excel is in one area that has grown in importance with travelers today, especially Millennials, and that’s personalized service and customization.
Web Presence Not Enough
The problem is reaching Millennials and their Alpha kids in the first place. A strong web presence is a given.
Bearing in mind that sites optimized for mobile usage are critical, those sites must also be capable of allowing a prospect to create an itinerary, make a reservation, visit a chat room with a live agent or bot, if necessary, make a secure payment online and make any itinerary changes during a trip, where feasible.
All of these capabilities on a small company’s website might seem cost-prohibitive but this is where the right CRM software platform comes into play.
Customer Relationship Management solutions have grown out of a response to today’s changing customers.
CRM Defines The Customer
No two customers are the same in any industry, so, it’s critical for a travel company to be able to meet the differing and changeable demands of travellers in the 21st century.
This begins with knowing who that customer is, where they are, what they want and how they want it.
CRM technology can fill in those blanks through data analysis, offer data-driven strategies, and provide the means to proactively give customers exactly what they’re looking for.
Studies like those done by Expedia Media Services already point to a web-savvy traveller looking for unique experiences while wanting to be able to change plans on the fly, right from their smartphone or tablet.
The DeepQuest CRM Advantage
Gerent LLC has created a Salesforce CRM-based app, called DeepQuest, that provides CRM capabilities along with reservation management, online payment solutions, custom itinerary planning and more for small cruise lines, boutique hotel operators and transportation/tour companies.
DeepQuest is a boon to SMEs in the travel industry because it’s affordable. The app comes as a complete set of modules or as individual modules, depending on a company’s most immediate needs.
Regardless of whether a firm opts for a single module, other modules can be added and integrated down the road but even a single DeepQuest module provides all the power and analytics ability of Salesforce CRM technology.
Building Better Relationships
It’s bang for the buck and helps to put small travel businesses on a highly competitive footing in an industry being dominated by large, online travel firms.
When a small travel company can free up precious human resources from the repetitive tasks of payment processing, reservation booking and email generation, those resources can be focused on relational interactions with customers, building strong bonds and boosting opportunities for future business.
To learn more about DeepQuest, contact Gerent and we’ll be pleased to answer your questions about the value and opportunity that awaits with DeepQuest.