One of the biggest travel trends this year is the increasing desire from customers to take an extreme vacation, a life-changing experience. However, no matter how much such a trip will force them out of their comfort zone, for the overwhelming majority of travelers, nothing will force them to leave their credit cards at home. As consumers focus on forgetting their troubles for a few days or a few weeks, companies like Sitel Group, that provide outsourcing and support to a host of major organizations in the banking and financial services industry, will focus directly on banking security solutions.
With the arrival of summer comes the peak vacation period. And while the types of vacations and mini breaks are changing beyond recognition – the popularity of solo travel, cruises, wellness and educational, and even mystery vacations are expected to surge over the course of the year – one thing remains constant: consumers will pay for their vacation and for all in-destination expenses with their credit cards.
In 2017, according to Allianz, U.S. households spent a combined $100 billion on their summer vacation – a record amount, but one that is expected to be surpassed when this year’s numbers are published.
The average international summer vacation for a U.S. family costs a total of $3,250, $800 of which will be spent ad hoc on food and entertainment.
“Gone are the days of the traveler’s check – the credit card has become the way for tourists to make purchases,” begins Joe Reynolds, VP Business Development at Sitel Group. “Therefore it is down to us to become even more proactive in terms of how we protect financial data and enhance security around online and offline transactions during moments like this when there are surges in use.”
Whether it’s scrutinizing and agreeing to requests for daily withdrawal limit increases, alerts on suspicious transactions, assistance in case of loss or theft or troubleshooting, the group handles all types of requests on behalf of banking clients and their cardholders.
“Over the past two decades we have built and continue to enhance a technical secure platform and a dedicated CRM system that together ensure we deliver the services most in demand during the year’s busiest vacationing periods,” continues Reynolds.
Preparing for transaction volumes is just one part of the equation. In addition to banking and financial services clients, Sitel Group partners with a host of travel and tourism businesses. So studying and analyzing the latest tourism trends and overlaying them with historical data is crucial to ensure the right staffing levels are at the right contact centers.
There is a growing trend for travelers to leave everything literally to the last minute when it comes to booking a vacation. For example, according to Choice Hotels, 46 percent of its bookings made by U.S. travelers are made the day of travel.
With less time to plan, customers are more likely to have questions or queries or need help with their vacations. And it’s in those moments they’re going to need to talk to a person that can show they understand the problem, make an emotional connection and resolve their issue.
“This level of understanding means we can mobilize and train even more agents, ahead of time, who are ready to assist our clients’ customers,” says Reynolds. “Whether it’s making sure a purchase is secure or deftly dealing with a moment of truth that could have otherwise spoiled a person’s vacation.”
From simple consulting and IT services, to developing made-to-measure technological solutions that deliver differentiated customer experience across all customer-facing verticals, Sitel Group provides clients with the tools they need for a 360° view of their customers, helps implement and enhance an omnichannel approach and offers services that can ramp up seamlessly with security in line with each client’s changing needs.