It is holiday time and most Indians have made their travel plans for vacations as the kid’s schools are over. This year, the first year of the new millennium, there is a marked change in the approach and marketing style of companies engaged in the travel business.
They are emphasising a lot more on customer service as well as a proactive positive approach towards customers.
The reason for this is increased competition as well as the new opportunities available on the net for consumers to directly book their travel requirements.
Let us look at all the service providers in the travel industry and see how this brand new marketing approach is helping them and the customers.
Let us look at the airline industry, wherein in the domestic sectors the level of service has gone up by all airlines whether it is Kingfisher or Jet. Frequent flyer programs are actively being marketed, on time take off and landing is being stressed on and in flight services as well as check-in and baggage retrieval processes are being made consumer friendly.
In the International sectors, top airlines like British Airways, Air India, Swissair, KLM and many others have adopted their approach to be far more friendly to the Indian travelers and have recognized the Indian traveler as a world class customer.
In terms of tour operators and travel houses brands like SOTC, KUONI, ORBIT and many others have started offering customer friendly finance schemes to the travelers, making it easy and affordable for them to travel.
There is also a change in the attitude of the travel agents, who have become far more responsive in their approach.
The Hotel industry, which is also a very important ingredient in the travel industry, has started coming out with marketing programs which make it comfortable and affordable for consumers to travel. There is spate of five star hotels coming up in Mumbai and many parts of India, many of them being a part of International hotel chains.
The most important element of travel marketing which has emerged is the element of customer service.
It is important for the brand marketers to improve the service quality as per world standards because Indians are now world class customers. The brand marketers in the travel industry should focus on service quality, parameters like world class tangibles, increased reliability, improved responsiveness and providing assurance and understanding the needs of the customers with empathy, so as to provide world class service.
Those who follow the above parameters would see their brands take off positively, whereas the others would be grounded.
The author is Brand Guru Jagdeep Kapoor, Managing Director of the successful Samsika Marketing Consultancy Pvt. Ltd. Tel: 022 28597700/7701 Fax: 28597699 E-mail: ">
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