How remote working can help the travel industry revive from COVID-19
Blog: NASSCOM Official Blog
The travel and tourism industry is one of the worst-hit by the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreaks due to worldwide curbs on flights, trains, and other modes of getting around. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) recently stated that the pandemic will ravage up to 50 million jobs globally, affecting both white and blue-collar jobs.
However, in this very dark period, technology has emerged as a veritable ray of hope. Across sectors, organizations are embracing innovative digital technologies to bridge the gaps that have been created by the pandemic. The foremost technology that is helping companies thrive in this challenging time is remote working. Organizations shifted to work-from-home models almost overnight – and the credit of such a fast transformation goes to remote working technologies.
So, when we proceed to plot the future of the travel industry, remote working can play a major role.
Remote working in the travel industry
In India, the travel industry is one of the largest contributors to the economy. In 2017, the industry contributed a whopping USD 91 billion to the country’s GDP while employing over 81 million people in 2018. The ever-growing Indian travel industry received a rude shock when the COVID-19 outbreak caused nationwide lock-downs and a travel ban. However, now that India is sequentially lifting the lock-downs and has green lit domestic travel, experts are looking at a quick revival of the sector.
As travel resumes in India, the most important aspect of restoring the sector will be relaying the required safety and hygiene-related information with customers and employees. Seamless bookings, customer service, etc. will also play a major role in ensuring a smooth resumption of services for the sector. Evidently, clear communication will play a huge role in the travel industry, and leading remote working technologies can enable travel companies with cutting-edge communication tools.
Hassle-free communication through hosted contact centers
As mentioned above, travelers will look for as much information as they can around how airlines, trains, buses, or cabs are taking steps to ensure their safety. Before booking their trip, they will definitely reach out to the company or the booking website. This becomes an all-important call for companies that they must not miss. Moreover, they need to ensure that the call is routed to the right professional who possesses the information that the customer is seeking.
A cloud-hosted contact center provides exactly this service in a highly efficient manner. Travel companies can integrate their existing CRM systems with hosted contact centers. This enables teams with up-to-date guest information and turns every agent into an expert to provide highly personalized service via phone, email, or chat. This can enhance customer service to new heights.
Further, remote working technologies including integrated VoIP and contact center cloud technology will help the travel industry offer real-time booking information and updates to customers through automated calls/SMS. At a time when flights are being canceled suddenly, such services will allow travel brands to keep their customers in the loop and avoid a negative sentiment among them.
Another major benefit of hosted contact centers is that they allow managers/leaders to get insights into customer queries and use analytics to review and improve performance and services. Thus, a hosted contact center will allow travel brands to become more agile and responsive, thus being able to serve customers in a better manner.
Empowered by cloud telephony, unified communications, and cloud contact centers, a major chunk of travel professionals will be able to work from home. All they will need is a working internet connection, and they will be able to access and deliver all the aforementioned services from the safety of their home. This will allow the travel industry to resume operations with only essential staff such as pilots, maintenance professionals, engineers, etc. actually coming to work.
All the major players in the travel industry are making concerted efforts along with the government to lay down the utmost safety measures for travelers and industry professionals. Remote working can allow them to boost the safety factor by allowing a large number of professionals to stay home and work safe. It is safe to say, then, that remote working will be a key driver in unlocking the next phase of growth for the travel industry.