Virgin Holidays - 'Ready to Travel' Customer Journey

  • Sarah Paul

This award-winning project for Virgin Holidays was all encompassing strategic, conceptual, design and delivery support whilst working with the wonderful team at Proximity London. Strategy: Virgin's brand promise is to provide unique and exceptional customer experience; it's why people pay a premium to travel with them. However, communications from Virgin Holidays broke that promise at the time. An audit of the existing journey showed that customers were being bombarded by 35 disjointed communications, as well as dozens of duplications, from six disparate internal teams. Proximity London set out to design the Ready To Travel programme; a comms journey that would reduce stress and increase excitement. The team used research to accurately match communications to the pain points that needed soothing, as well as the opportunities to excite, across the whole journey. To avoid bombardment, contact rules were in place that meant Virgin’s internal teams could only contact customers when the customer said so. Creativity: To reflect the battle for headspace, Proximity London divided the communications in two. A service journey for clear, critical information and an engagement journey for celebrating everything customers have to look forward to. They then ramped up the 'moment-of-open' personalisation. Embedding customer names into bespoke shareable gifs to help people express their holiday-booking joy, pulling in Instagram shots from local reps in-resort to give customers the inside track on what was going on in their chosen destination, and whetting appetites with pre-filled itineraries based on their preferences. There was precise signposting at every stage to help customers self-serve, a principle also used in the real world with personalised airport guides. Meanwhile, progress trackers went into every communication, so customers knew exactly where they stood and what to expect next. In retail stores, moments of purchase were celebrated with singing receipt holders. Results: The success of 'Ready To Travel' can be measured in both the reaction from customers and the benefits to the business. - An open rate average of 84% in email proved the need for the programme, whilst click-through rate highs of 92% proved the worth of the content. - Traffic to Virgin’s concierge pages to explore destinations increased by 800% and customer satisfaction scores for those on the programme were improved by 5%. - The maiden voyage was to serve customers flying to Orlando, this generated over £550K, delivering an annualised ROI of £7.68:1. - Ultimately, getting customers to self-serve has generated £250K in annualised savings. 'Ready To Travel' customers have been spending more in upsell too, with an 11% incremental uplift compared to those not on the programme, generating a projected £324,653 in annualised incremental revenue.