Is call tracking crucial to success for tour operators?
It's a situation that most people are no doubt familiar with:
Your vacation request has been approved, now it is a case of finding the right destination and offer. Often, simply researching regions and offers is enough to get you excited about your vacation: You can imagine yourself lying on the beach under the palm trees with a cocktail in hand, relaxing on a cruise ship or enjoying a cold beer at a mountain hut after an invigorating hike. No matter where you end up going, your vacation starts online and this research is an important part of the trip.
Weather patterns are studied, guest reviews carefully examined, and the distance from the beach estimated via Google Maps. This all helps to boost our excitement for the upcoming trip and contributes to what will be a highlight of the year. How intense this online research is and what action is taken next depends on a number of factors, such as the type of trip, duration, price, etc.
Some users will head to a travel agency after doing their research online so that an expert can put the finishing touches to their travel plans before they book it via the agent in person.
Others will stay online and book via the Internet.
It is at precisely this point in the booking process that it becomes important to be able to measure all telephone contact with users in a meaningful way for online marketing purposes.
This may be scheduled appointments made by "travel agency bookers," telephone inquiries, or direct bookings from "online bookers."
Appointment requests and bookings at travel agencies are an important KPI that, in these types of campaign in particular, with a higher "ROPO" effect, provide an indication of performance that is otherwise difficult to measure.
Where solely online booking sites are concerned, telephone inquiries from the customer are a key part of the customer journey and extremely important when it comes to the overall assessment of success and budgets. If a customer books an online offer offline via telephone, important information can be lost. The connection between the campaign/advertising medium/keyword and the telephone call can be made via call tracking, so the conversion rate reflects reality. Individual keywords, campaigns and advertising media can be optimized based on their actual result.
It makes sense that as you move toward the upper end of the vacation scale in terms of price and tailoring to individual requirements, so too will customers' desire for personal, tailored advice. Calls are therefore undoubtedly even more important for operators in these segments (cruises, individual/tailored vacations, long-distance travel, round trips) as part of the online experience than they are for tour operators offering short trips.
However, generally speaking, both benefit from greater transparency in online marketing.
Do you operate in the travel industry? Are you still relying on guesswork or do you measure your performance?
Summary: Calls are an important point of contact for tour operators. Measuring calls provides a better understanding of campaigns, keywords, and users, and is therefore a vital component of sustainable, targeted online marketing.