Travel Disruption and the Communication Imperative

28.05.21

Travel corridors, non-essential travel orders and quarantines became a way of life throughout 2020. The continual cancellation and rescheduling of flights, holidays and cruises needed companies to respond with speed and empathy. Communicating these disruptions to customers became the most important part of travel business operations.

A new glimmer of hope

Hearing of the UK government’s launch of the alternative traffic-light system to enable a safe return to internal travel was a welcome relief to both travellers and the entire travel industry.

Coming into force on 17th May (2020), the traffic light system comprises 3 lists – green, amber and red – with countries graded depending on various factors, including their vaccination rate.

Green list countries will be free of post-return quarantine. Amber list countries have strict pre and post trip testing and home-based isolation. Whilst red list countries stipulate a managed quarantine at a hotel for 10 days when arriving into the UK.

Travel Disruption and the Communication Imperative

At the time of writing, the government plans to review the countries on each traffic light list every 3 weeks. There will also be a green “watchlist” with the aim to give holidaymakers at least two weeks’ notice if a country is at risk of being moved off the green list.

However, within days of being officially launched it was over-shadowed with concerns of a new virus variation. The mixed government messaging on travelling to amber list countries that followed unfortunately created further confusion and frustration. Clearly, what this demonstrated is that travel disruption is going to be around for quite some time. And this further highlights the importance of communicating this to customers.

“It’s really important to us, particularly given the uncertainty facing travel at the moment, that we share the latest updates with our customers as quickly as we possibly can the moment new government announcements are made. Throughout this year we’ve been quick to respond to changing travel rules, updates to travel corridors, and news on how travel will be unlocked once more, to provide our customers with clear information and reassurance so they can make decisions about their holiday plans. We’ve been able to do this effectively thanks to a communications tool, powered by our booking data, and supported by a passionate team.”

easyJet holidays

So how can customer travel disruptions be communicated efficiently and cost effectively?

Ultimately with a dedicated system that provides the ability to create personalised communications that are sent automatically, en-masse and by any digital channel.

Built on the proven foundations of travel communications platform (TravelComms), our CrisisComms system provides the same data-driven approach specifically for managing business-critical disruption communications.

CrisisComms’ flexibility provides a multitude of integration capabilities with any booking or reservation system. Powering CrisisComms with the underlying data source enables you to define your target audience and create dynamic communications. Incorporating the recipient’s name, departure dates, flight numbers, destination hotels, resorts, regions and country information means each message is uniquely personalised and relevant. The intuitive CrisisComms interface simplifies drafting, data merging and message formatting. Being able to incorporate hyperlinks and URLs can provide links to additional information.

Email templates can be set up to incorporate your designs and enriched with images, fonts and colours to align with your corporate branding. Message templates can be created and saved for re-use with a new target audience.

Once you’ve selected your target audience, created your message, checked it and released it, you can then sit back and rely upon the system. CrisisComms’ underlying framework underpins the system’s reliability and performance.

Enabling a 360-degree, single customer view

Integrated with our email and SMS delivery services provides end-to-end tracking. Using CrisisComms, you can track the delivery and engagement of messages to gain assurance and insight. Identifying if messages have failed, not been opened, received as spam or bounced can help determine next actions to mitigate potential risks to customers and the company.

Securely storing copies of each communication sent provides a comprehensive history and audit trail. Automatically linking these to the associated customer/booking record in your CRM system joins the gap and creates a complete 360-degree customer view of all communications sent to each individual customer and the details of when sent.

CrisisComms has become an essential tool for our customers to respond quickly to ever-evolving changes and keep customers informed, updated and safe.

“With d-flo’s CrisisComms solution, we can change message templates and content, and we’ve been able to integrate the solution with our ACTOMRES booking system. And we’ve really valued d-flo’s support and the flexibility of their platform to help our IT and operations teams when we’ve needed it most to best help our customers.”

easyJet holidays

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