‘Three quarters of all respondents (in the survey) want the option of live chatting with a human and that number goes up to 83% of those aged 18 to 41,’ says the Travelport summary. ‘Humans are to stay, breathless articles on LinkedIn about ChatGPT notwithstanding. Live chat was rated equally useful as a phone call indicating that people just want a human experience, regardless of whether it’s voice or text.’
The company says the report shows that travel retailers should not discount younger travellers as a prime market.
‘Like many industries, travel should focus on what younger customers value. GenZ’s spending power is growing into a tidal wave and the time to adapt for them is now.
‘Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that digital is hard for the olds and not the youngs – GenZ grew up with support all around them.
‘Use videos, graphics and rich media to support decision making. Provide a choice of multiple, connected support options that are easy to find and truly useful.’
Travelport says retailers should keep in mind that they are potentially servicing both the digital natives and their parents – and setting their travel business up for the spending power transition from one to the other.
‘Keep in mind that younger people are more nomadic. Travel and mobility are key values for them, so building a trusted relationship between them and your brand is crucial.’
The report reassures travel retailers offline businesses are ‘not done’. However, they must continue to adapt.
‘Offline retailers must stay on top of the changes happening in the online space and offer a customer experience built on the same blocks – transparency, ease and a respect for the customers’ time. Building a brand presence online is key, even if you have to bring people into a store to make the purchase.’