How do travel & hospitality organizations seamlessly service the connected traveler throughout the entire buying lifecycle? Can data analytics help them personalize the whole door-to-door journey contextually for individual travelers? Let’s evaluate these.
The customer behavior & needs are changing dynamically. What’s even more challenging is that these dynamic changes also vary based on the context, such as the purpose of travel, time and duration, device, urgency, and situation. Most of the Travel & Hospitality organizations believe or have started to believe that this is an area requiring attention, and that too, on priority. They aren’t far from reality. But there exists a disconnect between the speed of their efforts and the expectations of their customers.
|Organizational Initiatives||Maturity State of the Travel or Hospitality Organization||Customer Expectations|
|Understand the holistic needs of the customer, considering their unique value, context, decision window, channel affinity, situation, purpose etc. Thereafter, intelligently and proactively suggest on what they need or might need. Turn customer into your brand ambassador||INTELLIGENT||Need to depend on service provider as an advisory partner in their buying journey; wants you to suggest a tailor made personalized offering|
|Need to understand and analyze the imbalance between customer expectations and the supporting ecosystem. Integrate cross industry data with the enterprise data||INFORMED||Desire to feel empowered and need support to take better decisions|
|Diversified exponential growth has put us on various IT platforms; Organizations need one version of enterprise-wide integrated data||INTEGRATED||Omni channel experience|
Fig: 3i Maturity Grid for Customer Delight
Organizations have already begun initiatives within the Integration stage, with 56% of travel and hospitality decision makers surveyed believe they are pioneers in adopting or investing in digital technologies, according to a recent study by Mindtree. However, the customers’ expectations have already entered the next stage: Informed. To catch up with them, organizations need to move at 2X speed with an objective led approach.
Often, the relation between customer experience and revenue is misunderstood. Revenue is construed as a being directly proportional to basic demand. However, studies indicate that customers are willing to spend more for a better experience and service (78% of customers believe personalized promotions would encourage them to purchase relevant products they’ve never purchased before.) The message is: Serve better to sell more!
There arises a need for better service but “one shoe does not fit all”; likewise, services need to be personalized and personalized to suit various dimensions such as context, probability of purchase, situation, time of day, channel of interaction etc. Customers today are looking for a unique experience, tailor made, for each one of them. Personalization is no longer a distant dream for travel & hospitality organizations rather a necessity to survive the digital future.
Considering the data explosion from various sources, this customer expectation doesn’t seem so challenging. As it turns out, there is a key to this conundrum. Knowingly or unknowingly, we all share data with the brands with which we transact. What customers want from travel & hospitality organizations is to know them without frequently asking them at every touchpoint. Today, there is enough data available towards achieving a solid understanding of their customers. The connected traveler doesn’t want to be serviced only for an instance rather wants to be understood and serviced or supported for the entire lifecycle of buying – be it ticketing, booking, during travel or stay or check out.
For instance, a business traveler would be delighted if the airline, through its partnerships, is able to fulfil her needs for the entire trip. Based on travel history, on one click, it is able to book the air tickets, rental car, hotel room as well as restaurants for dinner meetings. And offer deals and discounts to further make the offer irresistible. What a traveler today really wants, is a seamless connected travel experience that truly belongs to this digital generation. And the above depicted ‘3i Maturity Grid for Customer Delight’ can enable that by personalizing experiences of travel & hospitality customers.
Travel & hospitality organizations really need to provide this connected experience, un-bundle all the inventory and personalize experiences for specific customers, turn customers into the biggest brand ambassadors. The Brand needs to become the trend! Given the amount of data available with them, it is not really a lofty goal.
We can enable personalization, to delight the connected traveler, for your travel or hospitality organization. Contact Mindtree to start a conversation on making customer delight a real possibility for your organization.