2024 travel trends: Personalisation with a travel CRM

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Personalisation is no longer just a buzzword, but a key strategy for travel businesses looking to drive customer loyalty and increase customer lifetime value in 2024. Customer expectations have shifted and with over half of consumers saying they will become a repeat customer after a personalised experience (a 7% increase year on year)1, can you afford not to invest in personalisation when it delivers real returns?!

What is personalisation?

Personalisation refers to the practice of tailoring products, services, communications, and overall customer experiences to meet the individual needs and preferences of each customer. It involves using data, insights, and technology to create a more customised and relevant interaction between a business and its customers.

Examples of personalisation in travel

1. Tailored travel recommendations
A customer is exploring potential travel destinations on a travel agency’s website.
When the customer calls to enquire, the agent can see their past booking history, search preferences, and demographic information to provide personalised travel recommendations, considering factors such as preferred travel dates, budget constraints, and travel companions.
2. Dynamic pricing and offers
A user regularly visits a travel booking platform but hasn’t made a reservation recently.
Using data segmentation, your marketing department can send targeted emails with special discounts for the user’s preferred destinations or accommodations. Dynamic pricing can also consider factors like the user’s loyalty status, encouraging them to make a booking by providing exclusive discounts or perks.

Did you know, emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened and marketers have found a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns?!2

3. Personalised travel itineraries
A family with diverse interests is planning a holiday.
A travel agency creates a personalised itinerary based on the family’s preferences and demographics. If there are kids, the itinerary may include family-friendly activities and attractions. If one family member is interested in adventure sports while another prefers cultural experiences, the itinerary can be customised to include a mix of both. The agent might also consider dietary preferences when recommending restaurants and catering options. This level of personalisation ensures that each family member has a fulfilling and enjoyable travel experience.
These examples showcase how personalisation in the travel industry goes beyond generic offerings, providing customers with tailored recommendations, communications, pricing, and itineraries that align with their unique preferences and behaviours. The aim is to make the travel experience more enjoyable, seamless, and memorable for each individual traveller.

The true value of personalisation

The correlation between personalisation and consumer spending is undeniable. A staggering 80% of business leaders acknowledge that consumers tend to spend more (38% on average) when their experiences are personalised1. For a travel brand, this could mean customers are more likely to upgrade or opt for extras, such as golf tee times, spa treatments, excursions, and restaurant bookings.

As technology continues to transform our purchasing, younger consumers are the most likely to react negatively after an impersonal experience. 49% of Gen Z say they’re less likely to make a purchase and 27% say they’ll stop shopping with the brand or share the negative experience with friends or family1.

What’s stopping you offering a personalised service?

If you’re thinking, ‘this all sounds great! We’d love to be able to personalise our customer interactions and improve our customer experience – but how are we meant to know each and every customer?’ Then you’re not alone.

86% want technology that gives them more control and flexibility when communicating with customers3 but only 24% of firms report they are effectively investing in omnichannel personalisation4.

Many travel businesses have departmental silos and outdated technology. It’s these disparate systems and lack of accurate, real-time customer data that’s the biggest hurdle when it comes to personalisation in travel.

Personalisation seems complicated but in reality, there is a simple solution… a travel CRM.

A travel CRM is the answer

A travel CRM (Customer Relationship Management) makes personalisation easy and is essential for any travel business aspiring to provide a truly personalised customer experience.
Imagine you receive a web enquiry and it’s automatically routed to the most relevant agent. As that agent you can see their previous quotes and bookings, their typical spend, where they go on holiday and at what time of year. You can see their preferences, VIP status and much more. With a travel CRM, following up on the enquiry is a breeze as you have all the information to hand to make personalised and tailored recommendations.

Personalised quotes with AI-powered content

After speaking to the customer, you’re ready to put together a quote. This is your opportunity to further sell the holiday dream with a beautiful looking personalised document that inspires and most of all converts.
The best part is it doesn’t need to take hours! Canvas, our content-rich quote builder (available as an optional addition to CRM), allows you to create stunning individualised quotes in minutes complete with AI-powered destinational content and imagery.
Canvas not only saves you time and speeds up your lead-to-quote time, but the speed and quality of these personalised quotes increases your conversion rates.

Nurture relationships with automated follow-ups

After the customer decides to book you want to maintain that personal touch right up until departure and even after they return home. With a travel CRM you can automate follow-up tasks to reach out, but not all touchpoints need to be a manual process! You can send balance and passport expiry reminders, bon voyage messages, welcome your customer home and much more automatically. Carefully crafted communications with customer personalisation, means you save valuable time without losing the personal touch.

Catering to diverse generations

Constantly monitoring travel preferences of different generations is essential to create tailored experiences that cater to their unique needs and desires. The preferences of Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z vary, for example, nearly half of travellers are prioritising exploration and adventure, with Gen Z and Millennials carving out more budget for these types of experiences than other generations. Gen X want to feel taken care of and pampered, whereas Baby Boomers have restaurants and culinary experiences as their top priority5.
Understanding these generational nuances and using a travel CRM to segment your customers allows you to send personalised offers and tailor your communications based on these preferences.

Personalisation fosters loyalty

Now put yourself in the customers shoes… you submitted a web enquiry and received a highly personalised call from an expert agent who knew exactly what you liked. You then opened your inbox to find an engaging quote shortly afterwards that contained imagery and text building excitement about your trip. A few days later the agent calls to get your feedback and you decide to book. That isn’t the end of your interaction, you are then sent personalised bon voyage messages with local recommendations, and you feel calm knowing there is someone you can call if something goes wrong. You have a dream holiday and even receive a welcome home email.
With this level of personalisation and service, how can you possibly shop anywhere else! Next time you want to book a trip you’ll go straight back to that trusted agent, and not only that, but you’ll also tell all your friends and family about the exceptional customer experience you had and maybe even write a 5* review on Tripadvisor.
Did you know there is a 60-70% chance of selling to an existing customer, but the chance of closing a new customer sale stands at just 5-20%?!6 This just underscores how important a personalised service is and the financial benefits of investing in a travel CRM to facilitate bespoke customer interactions.
Personalisation is only way to exceed growing customer expectations in the travel sector. Without a travel CRM you risk falling behind your competitors who can deliver what your customers want – if you can provide an emotional connection with your customers through personalisation, you can outperform the sales growth of your competitors by 85%7.
Ultimately, the personalisation journey fosters customer loyalty. From the first web enquiry to the post-trip welcome home message, a personalised service creates a customer journey that transcends transactions, leaving a lasting imprint.
A travel CRM serves as the linchpin for all travel businesses aspiring to deliver personalised customer experiences seamlessly. By centralising customer data, a travel CRM empowers your agents to understand and anticipate individual preferences, enabling them to provide tailored recommendations effortlessly.

Discover how our travel CRM can take your business to new heights.