Share article
The link is copied

Personalizing Guest Experience and Driving Direct Bookings with Rakuten Viber Business Messages in the Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality Industry

Viber noa-bar-shay
Noa Bar Shay
Senior Director, Partnerships & Sales at Rakuten Viber
November 9, 2023
Share article
The link is copied
Personalizing Guest Experience and Driving Direct Bookings with Rakuten Viber Business Messages in the Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality Industry

By 2024, it is projected that over 75% of internet users globally will be utilizing a messaging app on a monthly basis. This figure indicates an enormous opportunity for the travel and tourism industries to capitalize on this trend. By leveraging instant messaging tools, they can streamline their operations, from booking confirmations to real-time customer support. 

Notably, messaging apps are not just for exchanging information; they have evolved into versatile business tools. From sending key notifications through transactional messages to sharing personalized offers via promotional messages, these platforms offer various solutions tailored to the diverse needs of organizations. That’s what got the term “Superapp”.

The way people plan their trips and leisure activities has changed a lot. Nowadays, they focus more on unique experiences and interact with brands in many ways. Today, potential clientele don't just visit a website; they engage with brands on social media, read reviews, and contact them via messaging platforms for further information.

The pandemic has changed what travelers expect, with a greater emphasis now on creating memorable experiences rather than just being provided with a service. Surprisingly, 25% of all customer interactions in the tourism sector already happen in instant messaging apps. This trend highlights how important it is for brands to understand and adapt to the communication methods their audience prefers.

In this blog post, let’s explore how Rakuten Viber Business Messages can help elevate these interactions and transform the guest experience in the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries.

The Power of Rakuten Viber Business Messages

Rakuten Viber Business Messages is a communication tool that allows businesses to connect with their customers, share different types of content, and reply to customer questions within one thread. It enables companies to send their clients customized messages, notifications, offers, updates, and help manage bookings, which helps keep them engaged and build better relationships.

Rakuten Viber Business Messages are tailored to suit the diverse needs of organizations:

  • Transactional Messages are used for sending important notifications. These can include booking confirmations, payment reminders, shipping status, and other crucial real-time information.
  • Promotional Messages are designed to share offers, discounts, or new product announcements, helping drive sales and increase customer engagement.
  • Conversational Messages (two-way communication) allow businesses to offer customer support or gather feedback, facilitating direct interaction between the brand and its customers.
Rakuten Viber Business Messages for airlines and hotels

Enhancing Guest and Traveler Experience with Rakuten Viber Business Messages

Building on the communication solutions described above, Rakuten Viber Business Messages can help personalize the guest experience in several ways:

1. Send targeted and personalized messages to guests. These can include welcome notes, booking confirmations, customized recommendations, and special deals based on the guest's preferences and past interactions.

2. Enable guests to ask questions, make special requests, or provide feedback in real time through the messaging app. Businesses can respond promptly, ensuring that guests feel valued and attended to throughout their stay.

3. Send timely notifications and updates to guests. These can include information about check-in/check-out procedures, room upgrades, changes to amenities or services, and local events or attractions. 

4. Send recommendations to guests based on their interests, preferences, and location. This helps guests discover nearby restaurants, attractions, or activities aligned with their interests, enhancing their overall stay.

5. Gather feedback and reviews from guests. After their stay, properties can send a message requesting feedback or inviting guests to leave a review on platforms like TripAdvisor or Google.

6. Communicate exclusive discounts or rewards to guests who are part of a loyalty program. 

Companies can also utilize chatbots to provide automatic support 24/7. Chatbots work without the costs that come with human staff, allowing the team to focus on more complex customer needs. They can provide instant answers to frequently asked questions, such as check-in details, baggage restrictions, or travel requirements. For instance, once a person books a flight, the bot can provide information about guidelines for the destination, such as necessary vaccines, visas, or online forms.

Creating advanced customer experience with Viber Rich Business Messaging

Use case: How airlines can use Rakuten Viber Business Messages to improve customer experience

Airlines can leverage Rakuten Viber Business Messages in numerous ways to enhance the traveler experience. 

  • Provide instant notifications and useful information to their clients. For example, assistance with issues such as lost baggage.
  • Answer specific queries, like the required documents for traveling with a service dog.
  • Assist in arranging special accommodations, like a specific onboard menu for a passenger with dietary restrictions.
  • Share travel tips, destination guides, and local recommendations. This can include information about popular attractions, dining options, transportation, and cultural insights. By providing valuable and personalized content through Rakuten Viber Business Messages, airlines can help customers make the most of their trips.

Overall, by leveraging the tool, airlines can enhance client satisfaction, build loyalty, and differentiate themselves in a competitive industry.

Examples of airlines using Rakuten Viber Business messages

Seamless Reservations: Enhancing Direct Bookings with Rakuten Viber Business Messages

Rakuten Viber Business Messages play a key role in driving direct bookings by providing a seamless communication channel between accommodation providers and customers. This includes the following:

  • Ability to send reservation confirmations, adding to user convenience
  • Sending real-time status updates, keeping customers informed about any changes to their booking, such as room upgrades or alterations in check-in/check-out timings
  • Suggesting the option of automated messaging, allowing for the delivery of messages at specific times or triggered by certain events, such as timely reminders about upcoming check-in dates
  • Communicating with members of the property's loyalty program. Accommodation providers can send personalized deals, rewards, or exclusive benefits to their loyal customers, incentivizing them to book directly and take advantage of these special perks.
  • Facilitating instant booking and payment by sharing respective links in the chat with customers who would like to complete their reservations. This streamlined process eliminates the need to switch from the app and look for information on external websites or make phone calls, making the whole procedure more intuitive.
  • Supporting two-way communication, allowing customers to respond to booking confirmations and status updates. This interactive feature enables clients to ask questions or request further information, with accommodation providers being able to respond promptly, offering necessary assistance and addressing any concerns.
  • Including visual elements, such as images or videos of the booked room or interactive buttons for easy access to additional details or adjustments to their bookings.

CEBU Pacific, a budget airline in Asia, used the power of Rakuten Viber Business Messages to increase travel demand among its customers during the travel restrictions. The airline initiated a time-bound campaign, distributing CEB SUPER PASS vouchers via Rakuten Viber. These vouchers allowed one to book one-way flights to any destination within the Philippines and could be used at any time during the year. This straightforward, adjustable, and economical strategy yielded impressive outcomes: conversion rates improved by 278% in comparison to email campaigns, and cost efficiency increased by 26%.

Cebu Pacific using Viber Business Messages to drive sales

Driving Change: Rakuten Viber Rich Business Messaging in Ridesharing and Public Transport

Rakuten Viber Business Messages has revolutionized the way ridesharing companies and public transport systems communicate with their clientele. Take BlaBlaCar for instance, a global ridesharing giant. They experienced an issue with informing passengers about changes to their ride, like a driver canceling a trip.

To solve this, BlaBlaCar began using Rakuten Viber Business Messages and SMS to communicate with drivers and customers, resulting in passengers receiving booking confirmations, notifications, and the ability to share last-minute ride requests through Rakuten Viber.

When there was no data signal, BlaBlaCar made sure messages still got through with SMS. BlaBlaCar's support team could also check if messages were delivered in real time, and step in when needed. This helped ensure a smooth customer experience.

Thanks to this new approach, customer complaints decreased, issues were solved quicker, and positive reviews increased. 

But it's not just ridesharing companies that can benefit. Public transport systems can also harness the power of messaging apps. For example, a chatbot can alert passengers about delays or cancellations, provide timetable updates, and even allow users to select specific routes and times. In Sofia, Bulgaria, the Urban Mobility Center launched a public service chatbot on Rakuten Viber where users can pay for parking spaces and get information on local traffic. 

One of the key benefits of using chatbots for the public transport industry is their always-on availability. Chatbots can operate 24/7, ensuring that passengers receive important reminders and alerts at any time of the day or night. This is particularly useful for passengers who rely on public transport for their daily commute or those who travel during off-peak hours.

Another advantage of using chatbots for public transport notifications is their ability to handle large volumes of queries simultaneously. During peak hours or in situations where there are disruptions in the transport network, the number of inquiries from passengers can be overwhelming for human operators. Chatbots, on the other hand, can handle multiple conversations simultaneously, providing prompt responses to passengers' queries and concerns.

Shaping the Future of Travel with Rakuten Viber Business Messages

Rakuten Viber Business Messages have notably transformed the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries by facilitating real-time, personalized communication. This platform is a perfect solution for boosting guest experiences, stimulating direct bookings, and building stronger customer relationships. It enables businesses to send tailored offers, immediate updates, and quick responses to clients' inquiries. Additionally, with rich-media capabilities including the sharing of hotel room imagery, videos of local attractions, and useful files such as travel itineraries, Rakuten Viber Business Messages enrich the customer's journey from the planning stage to the actual trip.

As customer expectations evolve, Rakuten Viber Business Messages are poised to become an even more integral part of the industry's communication strategy. By effectively leveraging this platform, businesses can not only stay ahead in the competitive landscape but also create memorable user experiences that keep clients coming back.

Reach out to our team to learn how Viber Business Messages can help achieve the goals of your travel business. 

Share article
The link is copied
Viber logo-secondary
© 2024 Viber Media S.à r.l.
Follow Us