It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? Packed flights, fully booked rooms, gift card purchases, and so on. As with the retail industry, many in the travel industry rely on smart holiday season strategies to help finish their fiscal year in the black.
With the tremendous focus on meeting sales and capacity goals, however, one thing tends to get lost: The customer. With airports at their frenzied peak of activity and families pushed beyond weariness by long drives, delays, or simply the challenges of traveling with young children or elderly relatives, it’s an incredibly stressful time for travelers. A recent Huffington Post article reviewed some ways airports are trying to reduce traveler stress – but how many families will use “Zen rooms” or nap rooms at busy airports (not to mention some of the other admittedly awesome perks they describe)?
Like many others, I spend a lot of time in airports and on highways, sleeping in hotel rooms away from my own family far more often than I’d like – and during the holidays, my family and I make the occasional pilgrimage to distant family members as well. What always surprises me is that, while I occasionally get a thank-you email and/or a survey after a stay, flight, or rental, or even a response to a tweet about a trip, there’s never any variation in this messaging from season to season. With so much travel taking place during the holidays and so much frustration around that travel, why aren’t more of us making the effort to specifically give special thanks to those who choose to travel with us during this time?
A few ideas for to consider for travelers who choose to travel with you:
Recognizing holiday travelers can pay significant long-term dividends. With a little effort and care, you won’t get just the warm and fuzziness of giving thanks; done well, you can improve your Social profile, your customer long-term value and retention, and other metrics as well. And that is something to be truly thankful for.