Few people are as nervous as travelers. Imagine leaving the comfort of your pathogen-free home to strike out, maybe on your own, to a destination you may never have visited before. Everything along the way is calculated to make you nervous.
Suppose you call a cab or a ride-hailing service to take you on the first leg of your trip. Will the driver be talkative? Will he play music you hate? Are you rude if you ask him to turn it down because you have butterflies in your stomach? How much should you tip?
Or maybe you catch a local bus or subway train. Will it be on time? Will you be able to make your connection? Will you have a seat to yourself, or will you have to stand or sit next to someone who smells or whose crappy music you can hear just fine from their earbuds?
If your travel involves flying, oh, the headaches. In the US, TSA lines can be nearly empty or keep you waiting for an hour. Did you bring an ID, and is it an acceptable one? What items do you have to remove from your carry-on to be X-rayed? Will the screening machine’s radiation increase your risk of cancer? After you make it through the gate and put your shoes back on, will your flight leave on time?
And what about food and drink? Does your airline provide them or is it strictly no-frills? Do you have to pay a flight attendant if you’re starving? Or should you eat at an expensive airport restaurant before you get on the plane?
Finally you arrive safely. Will your friend at your destination meet you on time? How will they find you? Or do you have to find your way to your hotel on your own? Does your hotel have a free airport shuttle? What time is check-in — will your room be ready?
The stress involved in travel is enough to make anyone wonder why we ever leave home.
Helpful businesses stay in touch
If you manage a travel or hospitality business, such as an airline, hotel, or homeshare, providing answers to travelers’ anxious questions — sometime before they ask them — goes a long way toward improving their experience and elevating their satisfaction with your brand.
Nothing is better than text messaging to provide some comforting virtual hand-holding. By adding texting to your reservation system, you can keep in touch with customers at every stage of their journey — not the customer journey, mind you, but actual trips.
Travel businesses can let customers know that their transit is on time, or that, for instance, a flight’s gate has changed. Hotels can provide helpful tips on things like where to park and when the in-house restaurant closes. Homesharers can text the code for a lockbox that contains the keys for their visitors’ home away from home. Restaurants can confirm reservations and remind patrons about table times when a dining date arrives.
Booking with a dog? Text your hotel in advance to ask about dog friendly rooms. “Hello! Go for it! We are 100% Dog Friendly.”
Ready to pick up your car from the valet? “Flash Valet has received your request for ticket 117792. We will notify you when your vehicle is ready.”
It’s easy to add texting capabilities to an existing application. Plivo, a communications platform as a service (CPaaS), provides an SMS API that developers can call to send and track text messages. Texts go out over Plivo’s Premium Communications Network, a global network for reliable text delivery. It’s easy to get started — we offer a free trial. And if you’re already familiar with using an SMS API from another vendor, you’ll find Plivo’s API to be familiar and easy to use.