The recent news surrounding unclaimed travel refund vouchers, described by one analyst as a ‘liability’, detracts from the real opportunity they represent for travel companies. That’s why it’s essential to approach encouraging their redemption as a critical customer relationship exercise. It’s a chance to engage with customers and drive business, rather than a communication chore to get over and done with quickly.
And to do this, you must forget about sending one-size-fits-all messages linked to a looming redemption deadline but instead focus on personalising the messaging to your audiences. In this way, you can endear customers to your brand and develop stronger and long-term relationships.
New insights and new opportunities
To achieve this requires data. Not data on your system that may be past its sell-by date and no longer relevant to today’s travel environment. But fresh data that reveals insights into your voucher holders’ behaviour and mindset. Accessing this gives you new customer perspectives, allowing you to segment your audiences, tap into messaging triggers and deliver individualised communications.
For example, accessing the right data and technology will help you find those who are back in the travel market and may be considering and researching their next trip. These are a key group, and when it comes to voucher redemption, they should be your most responsive. Understanding their behaviours allows you to focus on messages around destinations they may be considering, so they resonate better with them.
At the other end of the scale, you can find those who have switched off travelling. Offering up reassuring messaging to encourage them to consider travelling and not to miss out on the opportunity of redeeming their vouchers can’t but help encourage them to shift their mindset. But all this is only possible if you’re building your insights around fresh, relevant data.
In doing so, the value of your voucher redemption communications will dramatically improve. Rather than being functional, they will become relevant, valuable, and even inspirational. Getting your customers to imagine where their vouchers could take them can only help trigger action.
These insights can also take you beyond the confines of your website, CRM system or loyalty programme. This is why investing in a robust identifier that allows you to find – and market – to real people is essential. Opening up broader insights allows you to reach your voucher holders across the web and develop more sophisticated approaches to help influence and encourage their redemption.
And remember, when it comes to flight voucher values, they may cover only part of the costs. Encouraging them to be redeemed could result in additional incremental revenue. Or if you offer a package of options, there could be opportunities to cross sell accommodation, car hire, or other travel services when customers redeem their vouchers.
By treating your customers correctly, messaging them appropriately and encouraging them not to lose out on their money, you can gain revenue. And you can also gain something that’s essential for a brand in today’s challenging economic times – trust. When spend gets squeezed, consumers opt to purchase from businesses they trust, so getting your voucher redemption communications right can help you gain a competitive advantage going forward
Are you seeking help in developing your data-driven marketing approach? Then feel free to get in touch with us.