ROMFORD, England – A new study has found that social networks such as Facebook and Twitter are becoming increasingly important in attracting customers to travel websites. The report by L2 evaluated the “digital IQ” of 89 global airline, hotel and cruise line brands and determined how social media is affecting them. Travelsoon.com, a leading travel consultancy, says that in an age when a large number of travellers are booking their holidays online, providing a high quality of customer service through social media channels has never been more important for the travel industry.
Luke Nathan of Travelsoon.com says: “We believe that a strong social media presence is integral to our customer service policy. Through our social media accounts, such as Travelsoon.com on Twitter, we’re able find out what people are saying about us and address any queries they may have head on. It helps us find out what our customers want from us and provide a level of service that many other travel companies don’t.”
The L2 Digital IQ Index for Travel report found that there was a direct correlation between the average “digital IQ” of the brand and the percentage of repeat business purchases made through its website – the poorer the digital IQ and subsequent customer service offered by a brand, the lower the number of repeat bookings made through its website were. Likewise, while most brands had to slash their prices during the recession, those with stronger social media customer service records have been able to rebound faster and return their rates to near pre-recession levels.
The report revealed that the most successful social media aficionados were using their accounts to promote special deals that were allowing customers to book holidays at bargain prices and pick up promotional deals such as cheap package holidays to Puerto Pollensa. They were also creating competitions to better engage with their communities while also raising their company profile.
Nathan continues: “We thoroughly believe that our fans should be rewarded for following us and so we regularly post preferential deals on our Facebook page – for example, fans have recently been able to pick up cheap holidays in Tenerife and all-inclusive holidays to Turkey at rates not normally available. We have run competitions in the past and our customers have always responded really positively to this. Ensuring we are fully engaged with our community is of the utmost importance to us as it helps us deliver the best service possible.”