For the last year, COVID-19 has put a damper on travel plans, decreasing revenue across the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Everyone settled in at home, getting used to their new quarantine routines while staycations became the norm. Vacations and cruises have fallen by the wayside for travelers worried about the pandemic. In response, travel and hospitality organizations cut back on staff, hunkering down for a long lapse in travelers.
But wait. Could it be? Is that a sunny, palm tree lined beach we see on the horizon? Finally, tourists are taking a breath of sweet relief as travel restrictions lighten and vacations are back on the table!
What does this mean for your organization? Demand for your business just went up significantly. You’re probably already dealing with an increase in bookings, trying to manage a team of agents, and taking every opportunity you can to make up for the lost revenue brought on by last year’s uncertainty. Keep reading for insight into what’s to come and how you can best prepare.
Travel Demand is Rapidly Increasing
It’s not an understatement to say the travel industry took a major hit from the impact of COVID-19. Last year, travel spending suffered a 42% decline, with international spending falling 76%. With restrictions in place, the financial outlook for the travel and hospitality industries seemed bleak, but things are looking up! The global economy is recovering and COVID cases are dropping, easing restrictions and making a nice getaway appealing and realistic for many travelers. In a recent Travel Pulse survey, more than 70% of participants said they wanted to travel in 2021, and they have carried over vacation days to do so.
Source: Expedia Group’s 2021 Travel Trends Report
With the news of major travel destinations opening back up, people are chomping at the bit to take advantage of the sights, sounds, culture, and experiences that await them after a more than a year stuck inside. Travelers are ready to pack their bags, strengthen connections to loved ones and broaden their horizons. Is your organization ready for this influx? You’ll need a proactive plan in place to meet your need for skilled customer service agents.
Many organizations let go of staff to cut costs. Now, the great resignation is impacting industries across the board. Experts are predicting that 30 percent of the workforce will leave their current roles in the next six months. How will you meet demand while bringing stability to your organization?
Strategic Outsourcing Can Help You Keep Pace
Keep your organization thriving by finding a partner with the expertise to meet your needs. Leveraging outsourcing as a strategy to keep pace has major benefits:
- Experienced talent at the ready
- Increased revenue
- Decreased costs
- Improved customer experience
Chances are your internal workforce is smaller after COVID. A partner will allow you to quickly scale to meet demand while helping you avoid disruption. Hiring and training new agents is a costly and time-intensive process. By outsourcing, you gain agents immediately ready to take on the needs of your customers with minimal ramp time. For a deeper look into how outsourcing can work for your organization read one of our recent blog posts on the topic.
Maintain Customer Experience as Business Booms
The most important thing to keep in mind is ensuring customer experience doesn’t suffer because your current staff is overwhelmed with high volume. Customer experience is a major competitive advantage, and customers expect an omnichannel experience where businesses will meet them where they are. Whether they are communicating online, over the phone, or on their mobile device, customers expect responsive, efficient interactions. After the obstacles customers faced due to COVID, they want a quick and easy experience when they finally book that long-awaited trip. They want to feel taken care of and able to relax after a year full of stress and unexpected changes.
By outsourcing a portion of customer support to a partner experienced in this arena, your internal staff will be able to focus on revenue goals, while giving you the extra support you need to keep up with the increased flow of customers, never sacrificing on customer experience.
It’s blue skies, frequent flier miles, and superb sights ahead for travelers and travel organizations alike! Look to a partner to get you the experienced staff you need, quickly, to ensure you bring your organization back to pre-pandemic revenue numbers. Need help coming up with an outsourced strategy to do so? Contact us today for a consultation to learn how you can outsource customer service needs and deliver superior customer experiences to your travelers.