The Criticality of Customer Experience: Travel Industry Trends for 2022 & Beyond

Published On: October 18th, 20213 min read

After a dramatic year for the hospitality ecosystem, global travel demand is at its highest since the beginning of the pandemic.

Customers are more selective in their decision making and expectations have shifted now to health and safety first. As a result, customers are seeking businesses that demonstrate, build and trust and each iteration is an opportunity to foster this long term relationship.

Tapping into and improving customer experience in the travel and hospitality industry is crucial. A survey by SuperOffice confirms that 45.9% of business professionals said customer experience is the number-one priority for their brand throughout the next five years. 

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The Value of Customer Experience

Organisations that want to stay relevant should proactively take a comprehensive look at their customer journey to revisit existing customer touch points or identify new ones with the ambition to protect safety of customers and employees as well as adapting to new behaviours.

Overall, travellers demand feeling safe across the end-to-end travel journey as well as personalised and effortless interactions. Therefore, engaging customers during these mobile moments through responsive or mobile-optimized websites, SMS messaging, e-mail, or mobile apps, will help deliver a high-touch customer experience.

For example, Seattle’s Hyatt Regency Bellevue utilizes a two-way mobile SMS cloud-based solution, the Connect SMS platform, to enhance communication with guests. If guests want the concierge to make a reservation at one of their restaurants, they can text the request into the Connect CMS. Along with facilitating two-way SMS communication, the Connect CMS system also powers other technologies at the same time, such as digital signage, push notifications, and guest requests. 

Additionally, airports are also fundamental to improving the travel process. Targeted notifications on smartphones for seamless airport navigation, smartphone check-ins, and much more, improve the overall travel experience by putting convenience in the hands of customers.

In the U.K., Manchester Airport has teamed up with Wand Technology to pilot an online platform that offers targeted films, travel guides, and destination reviews to engage passengers on their smartphones and tablets while they wait at their departure gates. 51% of travelers reveal that these devices are their chief source of information on trips.

What Does It Mean for You?

To improve service and offer a frictionless experience, organizations need to execute the following steps:

  1. Map out the customer journey. Visualize the entire travel process and identify key points of interaction.
  2. Understand customer problems before developing solutions. Create prototypes and test them prior to implementing new solutions.
  3. Evaluate why and when users come to use your services and see how you can expand your offering to go beyond the current customer touch points.
  4. Analyze your existing mobile app performance. Determine whether it is effectively utilized for a seamless customer experience or plan to invest in creating a mobile app to engage your customers.
  5. Leverage CRM data to surprise and delight existing customers and improve their experience while building brand loyalty.
  6. Listen to your customers continuously. Be proactive, responsive, and use new channels to connect with customers.

As experts in both marketing and technology, DMI helps brands drive results that show measurable impact by combining research, strategy, media and creative. We meet our customers where they are in their marketing maturity to help them scale to define short, mid and long-term strategies that improve customer retention and engagement. 

Contact us to learn how embracing digital and prioritising customer experience can create value for your brand. 

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