As the world reopens and we adjust to a post-pandemic society, destination marketing organizations need to adjust how they approach their marketing, from lead generation to routine interactions with visitors. SEO, social media campaigns, and guidebooks remain popular destination marketing strategies, but it's increasingly clear that they aren't enough anymore.
As your team is discussing how to market a tourism destination in this new era, you should consider implementing AI Chat. Few destination marketing tools offer a comprehensive approach that solves multiple issues in one package as AI Chats do. This handy solution can help boost your customer service, reduce staff burnout and increase site interaction with just one chat.
New Challenges Require Different Destination Marketing Strategies
Technology has created a fast-paced world where people receive immediate responses and have the information they need at their fingertips. Destination marketing teams often take a more individualized approach to customer service, but that tactic may not work in a high-tech environment.
You may wonder how to market a tourism destination with technology without compromising the customer experience. There are a few things that could be making this difficult for you and your team.
The Upswing of Conversational Communication
Technology has created a society of convenience, but it also led to the expectation of immediate responses. Emails can take a while to garner a reply, and phone calls are only sometimes convenient, especially if customers can't get through on the first try. One study noted that 60% of respondents believe that one minute on hold is already too long. Customers are starting to expect companies to use chat systems instead of email and phone calls.
Let's say some visitors to your destination want BBQ. They want to avoid sponsored ads and inflated search results, so they reach out to your organization, the local expert. Your team might be able to field those questions and connect your travelers with the best food experiences, but it's challenging after hours or when your team is busy with other work.
A conversational marketing platform can bridge the gap and satisfy your target audience's needs without compromising your brand.
It's not just about conversions and upselling, either. Conversational AI effectively enhances customer satisfaction, leading to an uptick in referrals. You can attract more people to your destination by providing a personal, valuable, and memorable experience without stretching your staff thin.
Streamline with Effective Digital Marketing
Technology allows tourism marketing teams to streamline processes by finding new ways to increase the performance of digital marketing channels. It's not a question of convenience or laziness. It's simply a reflection of the times. Employees often need to optimize marketing resources and automate mundane tasks to focus on more complex jobs. AI Chat can help boost the search engine optimization of a website, increase conversion rates in your paid and owned channels, improve website performance, and much more.
Destination marketing teams have access to more data than ever before. While it sounds like a boon, 95% of tourism marketing leaders recognize that this data overload and inconsistency have created a massive issue. How can marketing teams filter through data and use it to take meaningful action for content marketing, paid and social media campaigns? As a DMO, you operate several channels that provide a plethora of information daily, so you need help refining and analyzing it to gain true insight.
The days of keeping regular business hours are long gone. Customers expect businesses to be available 24/7 to answer questions and meet their needs. Hiring enough humans to maintain that standard isn't just inefficient and expensive; it's essentially impossible to maintain. And the current staff trying to cope with the incoming volume of visitor questions end up stressed and burned out.
If your tourism marketing team can't provide the instant answers your audience seeks, you're likely to lose those visitors. No matter how robust your online presence is, your website needs more support to create a comprehensive approach that meets your brand's needs.
Why AI Chat Makes Sense for Destination Marketing Teams
Between all of these challenges, it can be hard to determine which issue to tackle first. It can cause disagreement among tourism marketing teams and stress for solo marketers. Conversational AI is a solution that can address all of these issues and makes your business easier to keep up with.
1. Conversational AI Chat Satisfies Visitors
Visitor satisfaction is one of the most critical aspects of any industry's marketing strategy, especially in tourism. Unhappy guests can ruin a brand or destination faster than anything else, so travel and tourism partners need to pay extra attention to those metrics.
Satisfi Labs can help manage those off hours and ensure you maintain optimal customer satisfaction. We have structured and conversationalized website feeds, like Simpleview’s CRM and CMS, to provide tourists with the information they need about listings, events, health and safety measures, transportation, and parking via chat.
Provide a Natural Interaction
Answer Key Destination Questions
Are there any family events tomorrow? Where can I find the best coffee spot? Where is the city parking? These questions are too common and can push a DMO team to its limits.
AI Chat can alleviate stress by handling those mundane questions. The software can answer a wide range of key tourism questions, including listings, events, health and safety measures, transportation, and parking.
Your organization can automatically provide specific information in a conversational style to meet the visitor’s needs and replicate a human interaction without pulling your human employees from other destination marketing tasks.
2. Availability 24/7 and Staff Support
The truth is that people have started to expect the business to be available 24/7. That means your tourism marketing strategy should include a way to field inquiries and provide valuable responses anytime, anywhere.
Provide Answers at the Visitor’s Convenience
Somebody from your target market is online at every time of day, even when you're not in the office. Users want access to information when they think about it. While many people stick to business hours, according to Satisfi data, over 38% of queries occur after business hours.
AI Chat provides the ideal solution for destination marketing teams who can't have humans on staff all hours of the day and night. Your guest may not be willing or able to wait for the next day. Are you ready to gamble that your website has all the necessary information?
With conversational AI supporting your online efforts, visitors don't have to wait for a response. They receive an immediate, helpful reply. With AI Chat, it will appear that your destination is available to provide answers on-demand, boosting customer satisfaction and promoting your destination.
"People don’t want to talk to someone; they want to open the chat and ask about the bars or the restaurants in the area. They want a short, quick-to-point answer, and the work that Satisfi Labs has taken off our destination specialists answering the calls or working in a visitor center has been tremendous."
- Caitlin Couthen, senior CRM & digital marketing manager at Experience Columbus
Reduce Stress On Your Team
Destination marketing involves many strategies that promote various businesses, locations, and attractions. Your team is constantly on the move, so answering a mundane call about the local mini-golf hours can feel like a waste of time. If your team member handles the call poorly, it leaves a negative impression about your overall destination.
On the other hand, if people know they can find what they need through AI Chat, they don't need to make the call that puts stress on your employees. Chances are good that your visitor prefers to quickly pull up the hours on their mobile device anyway, so it's a win-win.
Leveraging cutting-edge technology to improve the visitor experience without overextending your team is a key marketing strategy. Using automated chat features, you can create a more favorable service for your audience and alleviate stress on your staff.
3. AI Chat Supports Digital Marketing
For DMOs, digital promotion is one of the most important ways to reach potential visitors. Such channels as SEO, social media, paid advertising, and owned content, are most-used for every destination marketing organization. Marketers are always searching for new strategies to improve channel performance. AI Chat can help here.
Enhance SEO optimization
Google has been emphasizing the importance of user experience on websites—and although they have yet to confirm this idea, there seems to be a consensus that the algorithm uses certain key metrics to determine if a website is optimized for UX. Such metrics are dwell time and overall session duration.
Effective AI Chats can improve these metrics to enhance the search engine optimization of your website. A well-developed conversational experience will make users willing to spend more time interacting with AI Chat - thereby spending more time on a page.
Improve Social Media Campaigns and Website Content
One of the key benefits of using AI is that through machine learning and natural language processing, the system can develop with the help of customer questions. It can analyze incoming questions to identify trends and customer needs that help it refine answers and train for upcoming questions.
For example, you may see an uptick in visitors asking about family events in the area. Building a campaign with posts on Facebook and Instagram, a mention on your website, and a detailed post on your blog that highlights family events could drive more traffic to your destination, all based on what your guests want to know.
4. Tap Into Powerful Data Streams
Do you truly know what your guests want to know about your destination? If you’re just guessing, there is a good chance that you’re missing your target audience. Why waste time with guesses when you could deliver a targeted campaign or provide guidebooks with all the right information?
Gather, Analyze and Use Data
The Satisfi dashboard breaks data down by topics and dates, allowing you to take a deep dive into analytics to decipher what visitors want to know. You will better understand what your visitors are asking while planning their trip and while they are at your destination looking for restaurants or some activities happening today.
It's a more efficient way to craft destination marketing campaigns and develop strategies that resonate with your target audience.
"We see a lot of value in using AI Chat to see what people are asking. Our digital marketing team has spent years making assumptions and trying to understand our users as much as possible, but nothing beats having a conversation with a human to really understand what they want. It's almost like being a fly on the wall with that person, so I find it unique and helpful to use this technology."
-Christine Felton, Director of Content & Digital Marketing, Visit Austin
5. Live Chat Delivers
Even if you already use live chat as one of your communication solutions, you probably have room to expand its reach and return, and that’s where Satisfi Labs excels with our Bridge Live Chat.
Improve Team Communication and Overall Performance
Satisfi Labs combines a unique take on Live Chat with AI Chat. Our approach helps you organize your team and interactions to support your destination marketing strategies. Create teams to organize conversations and communicate within the platform for seamless collaboration.
Additionally, Bridge Live Chat creates a seamless transition between AI and live reps using intent-based routing. If your target audience needs a live customer service assistant, it's a flawless handoff from AI to human rep.
Increase Conversion Rates
Did you know brands that integrated Live Chat into their websites, using human agents and automated bots, saw a 40% increase in conversions? That’s a notable increase for any industry, but it translates to a lot of visitors in the tourism industry.
Personalize Your Messaging
Adding Bridge Live Chat enables unique functions that let you create personalized interactions to enhance the customer experience within the chat feature. Emojis, canned responses, private notes, and customized notifications are just a few of the options available.
Final Thoughts: AI Chat as a Destination Marketing Tool
Tourism marketing is fighting an uphill battle following the COVID-19 pandemic. The fallout of a global shutdown and impressive technological advancements created a perfect storm for many brands. It's more challenging than ever for a destination to promote its brand and reach its target market.
Among the push toward online information, contactless transactions, and the desire for 24/7 access, many destination marketing teams have had to rethink their destination marketing strategies. Using a mix of digital advertising, mobile apps, influencer marketing, and social media strategies lacks focus without appropriate data, which you will receive with Satisfi Labs.
AI Chat provides one of the most comprehensive answers for the tourism industry, with a range of support available to streamline processes.
"Let’s use some technology in 2022 and beyond to make that more efficient and a better experience for the users."
-Luke Johnson, Director of CX Operations at Simpleview
Learn how Satisfi Labs can help your team learn how to market a destination and refine your destination marketing strategy to increase conversions and reach your goals. Contact us for more information.
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