Today’s digital traveler is looking for the full package in a booking and reservation provider, setting customer expectations sky-high. Here’s how to provide the exceptional customer experience the modern traveler looks for—and deserves—starting with what to avoid:
Click here for more marketing tips for global travel customers and find out how to create an experience that turns casual customers into frequent flyers.
Translation and Localization Tips for the Travel Industry (Including 6 Mistakes to Avoid)
Today’s global travel customer
Tech savvy. Well-connected. Easily distracted. The digital traveler’s booking and reservation options are virtually limitless—and establishing a more self-sufficient customer.
This means, now more than ever, travel companies must live up to the expectations of such customers—but how can they provide the most effective experience possible? With seamless and consistent service across channels and languages.
Here, we’ll provide some pointers on what to do (and what not to do) when executing an effective customer experience.
What could go wrong?
- A lack of research
Failure to invest in qualitative research before building your travel and hospitality website will result in a traveler experience that fails to meet expectations (non-personalized)—and likely a traveler that will go to a competitor. Conduct one-on-one interviews, and be sure to test. Does your website content feel relevant to travelers? Does it project an understanding of their needs? Is it personalized for every buyer?
- Not delivering on the services expected in each market
Not every travel and leisure property or service is suited for every global market. Certain cultures have distinct needs and customs that need to be considered and not doing so will turn travelers off. Be sure to do your homework (see mistake #1 above).
- Not having a solid, well-thought-out strategy
Your marketing teams need to create a personalization strategy that takes into consideration your website, other content and campaigns planned, SEO strategies, the role of translation technologies, and communication coordination, to name a few. Not considering these and other globalization elements will result in the need for costly rework.
- Failing to have a consistent brand voice
Taglines, logos, and the look and feel of localized websites all need to be consistent for success in building a truly global, personalized traveler experience. When it comes to these details, it’s imperative to be true to your brand but comfortable and usable to your travel and hospitality audience.
- Not considering the mobile device experience
While it may seem obvious, the use of mobile devices by global travelers is huge—even more so outside of the U.S. Consider responsive design elements that adjust the website experience for better viewing and interaction on mobile devices. Be sure to think mobile-first!
- Not measuring ROI
Translation and localization efforts—if done right—are not inexpensive endeavors, and while they are crucial to the success of your global goals, it’s important to put the metrics in place to measure how your investment is working. At the end of the day, of course, it’s all about your bottom line.
How to make it right
- Collect feedback and advice from your local marketing teams on content relevance and quality for their respective regions and traveler nuances.
If most of your central content developers are based in the U.S., you may receive feedback that content sounds too American, or geared more toward American travelers. If so, have them note a few specific actions a writer could take to improve content for a global traveler.
- When creating written content, keep your writing simple and avoid cultural travel references.
Remember that a White Christmas may work in the U.K., but not so well in Australia.
- To save time and costly rework, consider granting your translation provider access to your staging server and web apps.
This will allow them to review context as well as reviewing and testing user interface text elements within your travel apps.
- Get out in front of your website localization and translation plan and include it as a part of your initial strategy.
Your online goals—and specifically how your website and content aligns to all of your regions and locations—need to be part of your initial plan or you may find yourself going back to the drawing board more often than you’d like.
Ready to take the next step? Check out our free eBook for more translation and localization tips to ensure a seamless and consistent experience, across devices and channels, all with respect to the individual’s native language.