5 ways to stay ahead in the world of travel

To get ahead in the travel industry, you need to be seriously plugged into data. The brands that are excelling in this business are the ones that are collecting data and using it to really get to know their customers. That way, they can provide offers that are uniquely tailored to their needs. We’ve identified five ways your brand can harness data for success in the travel industry.

  1. Connect with your customers

Brands need to draw on guest insights to discover interests and motivations, and to define a compelling business offering. In fact, 82% of frequent travelers associate a great customer experience with the brand’s ‘ability to understand my needs’.

It’s crucial therefore, for you to understand what your customers want, and use relevant data to craft appealing offers.

  1.  Be part of your customer’s social world

When it comes to understanding customers, it’s important to appreciate that travel and technology go hand-in-hand. 75% of travelers worldwide use smartphones and tablets for both personal and business reasons when traveling.

Given the investment that today’s travelers have in social, particularly younger generations, it is crucial for you to your brand into their social interactions.

  1. Empower your customers

Travelers want and expect brands to provide more efficient recovery from disruption. 50% of airlines today are able to inform passengers about a disruption (e.g. a flight delay or lost luggage) in real-time to their mobiles. Tapping into disruption management is crucial for brands looking to leap ahead in terms of self-service.

The smarter brands are using kiosks or mobile self-service solutions, so passengers are empowered to choose suitable alternatives in real-time when disruption occurs.

  1. Understand your customers

Customer journey mapping is the process of tracking and describing your customers’ experiences throughout their travels. It means knowing what happens to them when they engage with your brand, how they react and how that interaction makes them feel.

When considering where your company should be investing money, you need to understand the most important touch-points for those high-value personas that are critical to the success of your business. In fact, a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by 25-95%. Customer journey mapping can help highlight areas in need of attention.

  1. Own the customer experience

Today, customers are overwhelmed by choices, and they benefit from recommendations on where to stay from their entourage, travel websites and mobile applications. Plus, they can now cancel reservations and make a new booking in a few simple clicks.

Research shows that it takes twelve positive experiences to make up for one negative one. You can and should encourage customers to remain loyal by meeting their personalized needs and providing unique offerings at every step of the journey.

Harnessing data to dramatically improve business outcomes

Companies who are winning in this new environment are using strong creative and communication strategies. They’re leveraging the right insights to create real, one-to-one connections with customers on and off-line. To provide great products and services that keep people wanting more, you need to focus on gathering intelligence, taking predictive action and creating personalized customer experiences. This requires breaking down silos between the various departments and investing in infrastructure and technology.