WhatsApp

How to use the WhatsApp Business solution in: Travel & Hospitality

In this series of sector related tips for the WhatsApp Business API, we’re diving into the possibilities of WhatsApp for the Travel & Hospitality sector. How can you benefit from the WhatsApp Business solution in terms of reducing pressure on customer care while optimizing the customer journey?

WhatsApp Business API Travel

Repeatedly answering the same questions can be quite time-consuming. In the travel & hospitality sector, it isn’t hard to image how standardised messages can reduce pressure on customer care. Wouldn’t it be easier if questions were answered before they’re asked, with proactive notifications on for example boarding gates, check in times, or the start time for events? The WhatsApp Business API has a way of making things a bit easier on your customer care centre. How? With message Templates.

What are Message Templates you ask? Message Templates are pre-approved messages that can be sent in both inbound and outbound communication with your customers. These messages can be used to send notifications to those customers with an active opt-in for WhatsApp Business notifications. To personalise the message, you can use the numbered placeholders {x}. Each of these placeholders can be filled with letters, digits, special characters and spaces. This is best explained with an example. I will share some examples on how these Message Templates can be used to optimise customer care in the Travel & Hospitality sector.

Customer inquiries: Assist customers with questions regarding seat selection, cabin upgrades, payment or billing, itinerary changes, reward points or product service inquiries. You know whether customers come to you with these questions on a daily basis. If the core of the answer is typically the same, creating Message Templates with customisable fields can reduce pressure on your customer care team. However, proactively informing your customers about important changes will even ensure a pleasant customer journey (literally and figuratively) without the need to ask a question. 

Hi {1}, you’re flight to {2} will leave at {3}. There was a gate change. Please make sure you’re at gate {4} 30 minutes before departure. Have a great flight!

Customer resolution: How about when a problem occurs? You’ll want that issue resolved as soon as possible to avoid the opportunity for your customer to share complaints with family or friends. If there's a change in ticket details or a cancellation occurs, ensure you inform your customer immediately.

Hi {1}, we’re very sorry to inform you your flight has been cancelled due to the storm. Please report to desk {2} to get your tickets changed, or reply to this message for help. Use this map to find a support desk {2}.

Travel updates: There’s more to notifying your customers about travel updates than just flight cancellations. Organising an event and know of roadworks in the area? Why not inform your visitors beforehand, so they know to take an alternative route and to leave a little earlier. Information on gate openings, check-in information, passport requirements or other recurring customer requests can easily be shared via Message Templates. How’s that for a care free journey?

Hi {1}, you’ve got a flight planned tomorrow. Airliner {2} recently changed its hand luggage regulations. Please make sure you have max. 1 piece of luggage. Handbags/camera bags etc. should fit in your one piece hand luggage. Find more information on luggage regulations here {3}.  

These were just a few ways in which you can use the WhatsApp Business API Message Templates to actively inform customers for an improved customer experience. WhatsApp and your WhatsApp Business API distributor may provide you with Message Templates, or you can request your own. Approval of Message Templates is done by WhatsApp and your Authorised Distributor for the WhatsApp Business solution.

Important to note is that for outbound use of these Templates, you will need an active opt-in from your customer to receive specified information. Otherwise, they may be used only within the WhatsApp Business customer care window, initiated by the customer. If customers have any questions after receiving your notifications, they can ask for more information by simply replying to your message, opening up a customer care window in which you can communicate freely. So besides for using Message Templates, of course you can also have a spontaneous chat, where you can type your messages with rich media in response to a customer initiated conversation.

Get started with WhatsApp Business

Are you ready to take your customer care to the next level? Request a WhatsApp Business account today and explore the many possibilities it holds for your business. To kickstart the process, register on our platform (for existing customers, simply log in). Once logged in, you will find "Channels" on your dashboard - request access via the WhatsApp icon.

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