Use Social Media To Remind Card Customers of Travel Protection Services You Provide – by Ken Kraetzer

With the Olympics in full swing, thousands of participants, organizers, and fans, will be traveling to and from Sochi for the events and festivities. For so many it is also the start of the busy spring travel and convention seasons.

Before leaving on a trip, it is always a good time for travelers to check the protection services their card accounts provide that could be of big help while on the road.  Benefits that are commonly provided to bank card and retail transaction accounts include Emergency Travel Assistance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Protection, and a variety of premium services that can make a long trip go more enjoyably.

One time while traveling in Barcelona, I was getting out of a cab, going in the front door of a hotel, and made the mistake of putting my briefcase down on the sidewalk for an instant.  I looked back and it was gone with my airline ticket, passport, traveleImagers checks and a backup credit card.  After realizing what had happened and gaining composure, I called the Emergency Assistance Service provided by one of my card accounts, and a Dallas based service representative provided a comforting ear.  The representative went through with me what was lost and how to replace the items one by one.  The theft happened on a Saturday night so the service told me to go to the American consulate first thing Monday morning and start the process for an emergency same day passport issuance.  After that I was directed to go to a travel agent office to have my airline tickets reissued, and visit a major bank office which could reissue traveler checks.  Ok this was still when paper tickets were like currency but think of what happens if you lose your smart-phone, wallet, or purse while traveling.

Visiting the consulate turned out to be a memorable experience seeing how hard the foreign service staff worked on solving the problems of American travelers from students to business types.  After reaching the consulate when it opened in the morning, I filled out the paper work and was briefly interviewed by a foreign service officer who described the types of challenges they handle for travelers.  I was told to come by after lunch when the replacement passport should be available.  I must have checked out ok when they contacted DC because my replacement passport was ready, and with my reissued airline ticket, and cash from traveler checks was able to take a flight that evening to be on-time for the start of a conference in Belgium.

Of course email and social media offer terrific low cost ways to remind customers of the benefits you provide them.  On Facebook, your brand’s page can describe the services you provide and how they help customers, perhaps a benefit comment of the day.  Facebook also supports small ads on the right column that can be targeted by interests and geography.  These same messages can be issued on your Twitter account. 

Good idea for trImageavelers to have the phone number for your bank and emergency assistance provider written down separately from your credit card, in your smart-phone directory at the least.  I try to have key phone numbers and email addresses on a piece of paper as an ultimate back-up.

Travel protection services may not be called upon that often but accountholders will value that these benefits are available when traveling because they are a customer of your brand.