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  • Writer's pictureNatalia Behrend

8 Facts On How Travelers Communicate Through Text Messages

After 18 months of automating conversations between tour and activity operators and travelers from all around the world, the results are finally in! We have analyzed more than 377,000 data points and compiled them into 8 fun and insightful facts. Our hope is to share this knowledge with the whole industry so that we everyone can learn and understand what travelers want and need after they book a tour or an activity with an operator. So, without further due:

1) 97.2% of customers will accept to receive text messages from an operator.

Is SMS too invasive for your customers? Should you just stick to email? Well, your customers certainly disagree.

Our study on thousands of bookings show that customers, no matter their age, want to stay in the know when it comes to their booking. Only 1.19% will turn down free text messaging updates, notifications and reminders.

Of course, this varies a bit depending on the age group you are targeting and how your customers book your tour or activity. Do they book ahead of time or last minute? Do they book through your website or through an OTA? All of these are factors that will affect this conversion rate, but we have never seen this number go below 95%, that's for sure.

2) 61% of travelers are willing to rate their experience

In order to provide some context, it is important to clarify that most of the operators using TourOpp GO! ask their customers to rate their experience from 1 to 5 after the tour is over.

This feedback is important because you get the real image of how customers feel about their experience. Marketing agencies will actually use this data to calculate your "Net Promoter Score" and it's a widely used and accepted way of forecasting how many people will actually refer your business to their friends and family. So yes, it's also important to have these metrics because it will have an effect on your sales in the long term.

3) 93% of travelers will rate their experience positively & only 7% will rate it negatively

This is one of our favorite ones because we were also surprised to see how positively people feel about their recent tour or experience. Good job to all operators out there!

And the reason why most people are surprised about this one is because it differs greatly from what you will see on TripAdvisor or Google reviews. Not even on those who rank first or second on these listings can attain such a perfect score. This proves the old theory that customers who had a bad experience are 7x more likely to go out and post a review about it online.

4) 11% of customers will click on the review link once prompted

It is HARD to get customers to actually post a review online. Looking at how many people are willing to rate their experience vs. how many people actually post a review, it's easy to get discouraged. However, we're looking at this figure and comparing it with average email click rates which are usually around 2 - 3%. It's easy, then, to come to the conclusion that customers are 3x more likely to click on the review link if asked through a text message. And we're not just saying that. This is actually what we see in most of our new clients; they start getting 2 to 3 times more reviews per month than before.

5) 18% of customers will click on a recommendation link

We hear a lot of operators who do not to promote their own activities or tours to their current customers out of fear of scaring them away or to damage their brand reputation. We understand, no one wants to be the annoying salesperson. That being said, statistics show that almost 1 out of 5 customers will actually click on the recommendations sent by the operator (usually directing them to the operator's website). This is free traffic to your website and more direct bookings for your business. If you are not doing it already, start now.

6) 13% of customer will ask questions to the chatbot

There's a general feeling among operators, that people don't want to talk to chatbot. However, our data says something different. A good amount will actually ask a question to a chatbot. For operators, this can solve a lot of headaches. For everyday issues, a chatbot service reduces costs and speeds up response time, which customers also appreciate. This allows customer service agents of our clients to work on more challenging tasks and take a big-picture approach. Customer service trends show that chatbots' benefits are numerous and customers are aware of this. Indeed, using a customer support chatbot gets you instant answers and asks you short, direct follow-up questions that are easy to understand. For speed and convenience, chatbots provide the perfect solution.

7) The most common question asked by clients

55% of those 13% of questions asked, are related to the meeting point. This a very high number and most likely a result of booking confirmation emails not doing a good job at it. Nowadays, people want Google Maps locations, not the name of the street. This is exactly why we recommend our clients to provide meeting point or pick up information in the first message customers get after their booking. This will prevent customers from having to ask for it, and it will also avoid any late or lost customers.

8) 10% of clients say "Thank you" to our chatbot

How satisfied do you have to be to say "Thank You" to a chatbot? Yes, a lot. 'Cause it's weird! Kind of. Chatbots help customers find a solution. The “problem and solution” nature of customer service presents a classic problem best solved by artificial intelligence. We have see that customers are so satisfied with the solution that our chatbot generates that they end up saying "thank you".

The gesture of saying "thank you" shows just how satisfied the customers are with the chatbot. And while metrics like sales and shares show important details on how well a company is performing at a specific time, customer satisfaction scores are one of the best indicators to reveal how a company will perform in the future. Because at the end of the day customers satisfaction translates into referrals.

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