Embracing the Connected Customer Experience
Embracing the Connected Customer Experience: Challenges and Opportunities in the Travel Industry
In today’s interconnected world, the customer experience knows no boundaries. From the first interaction with an advertisement to online reviews and forum discussions, travellers and guests expect seamless connectivity and access to information at their fingertips. The demand for superior customer experiences is not only driven by the always-connected nature of modern consumers but also by the significant benefits it offers to businesses.
A Challenging Vision
The connected customer experience is important because, these days, the customer experience has no boundaries. For a traveller or guest, it can kick off with an advertisement, continue on the phone or online, bleed into social media and maybe even end with a forum discussion or online review. People are connected all the time, and the customer often has and expects all the information about travel and destination to be at their fingertips at all times. They expect and believe they deserve nothing but the best.
Overall, creating superior customer experiences pays off. A survey by Zendesk and Enterprise Strategy Group, referenced in a recent Forbes article, found companies across all industries that made substantial investments in their customer experience over the past year are 10 times more resilient and three times more likely than their counterparts to have grown their customer base. That is even more true for the connected traveller and guest, away from home and looking to be surrounded with choices and provided with needs and wants — connectedness is a meeting of their needs and desires and an opportunity for you.
The Path to ‘Connected’
Due to massive changes in consumer preferences, the travel industry is facing its biggest challenge and its biggest opportunity in years. Accustomed to instant gratification and ‘the customer-is-always-right’ expectations, travellers and guests want more…and more. Meanwhile, the accelerated pace of technology innovation is reshaping the competitive environment for airlines, hotels, cruise lines and rental car companies. Like it or not, they are finding they must adapt more rapidly than ever before in order to remain relevant and competitive.
Technology choices will play a key role in how quickly these companies can adapt and change and, in particular, achieve leadership in how they use data to drive business insights. Furthermore, AI will increasingly enable companies to automate manual processes, delivering both cost and labour savings, as well as delivering real-time customer experiences.
A connected guest or customer experience puts the customer in control at all times, across all touchpoints and channels, 24/7, and it also presents unprecedented opportunities to providers of travel and hospitality services to achieve an intimacy and connection to their customers that have never before been possible.
The travel industry faces a crucial turning point as consumer preferences and technological advancements converge to shape the future of customer experiences. Travellers and guests, driven by their desire for instant gratification and personalised interactions, demand more from service providers. To stay relevant and competitive, travel companies must adapt rapidly and embrace technology to leverage data and drive actionable insights. Automation and artificial intelligence offer avenues for cost and labour savings, as well as real-time customer experiences. A connected guest or customer experience empowers individuals, providing them with control across all touchpoints and channels. Simultaneously, it presents travel and hospitality providers with unprecedented opportunities to establish intimate connections with their customers. By embracing the challenges and leveraging the advantages, companies in the travel industry can create a transformative customer experience and thrive in an increasingly interconnected world.
Read the rest of the Creating a Connected Guest Experience series:
- Top five ways marketers can embrace AI today
- Retail AI discovery workshop: How to create more value from your data – 6th December
- Xiatech and OneStock release first-of-its-kind 2023 Business Value of MACH Technologies Survey Results
- Celebrating a decade of success
- Mercaux partners with Xiatech to accelerate the transformation of physical retail stores into omnichannel destinations
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