As travelers return, brands need to be aware of their new expectations, preferences, and priorities. To stay in tune with their shifting needs, brands should use the vast troves of customer data they have to deliver unique, personalized journeys.
Travelers are revamping their allegiances, and now loyalty is not only dependent on whether they’ve always traveled with a certain airline, or how many miles and points they can earn. Another important component of determining loyalty is the level of customer engagement with the brand and the seamlessness of their experience.
For brands to be able to deliver smooth journeys, they need to understand their customers and treat them as individuals. To do that, they need to have a solid base of clean, organized customer data at their fingertips.
Same customers, different expectations
The rise of digital has made it so holidaymakers engage with brands using more channels and touchpoints than ever before. This means that travel companies have to deliver seamless experiences at every step of the way — from booking and selecting a seat, to self-service check-ins, to special offers to buy upgrades and access to premium services. If they don’t, their customers will look for better options with the competition, another brand that can meet their needs.
To stand out from the crowd,
Brands need to provide seamless experiences between digital and real-life interactions
There are multiple ways (websites, apps, travel agents) for travelers to book tickets and make tweaks to their journey — companies need to be able to bridge the gap between online and in-person smoothly.
For example, if Maggie booked a flight to Montreal online with a connecting flight to Toronto, the desk concierge should be aware of this when she checks in.
Brands should understand the new approach to loyalty
Traveler loyalty is the most up for grabs it’s ever been. Brands can benefit from this new approach to travel if they embrace customer-centricity, and focus their efforts on earning customers’ trust and winning their loyalty in the broader sense.
Using data, brands can identify customers with the greatest potential value in the moment and over a lifetime. By disregarding “status” brands can craft more robust personalization strategies, boosting customer satisfaction, and the chances of repeat travelers.
Customer intelligence and predictive analytics are now essential
When traveling after the pandemic, holiday makers will need more, not less assistance — a customer data strategy can’t reach its potential if it’s unable to give travel providers insights that can serve individual customers where they are in their time of need.
Companies need to be aware of customer intentions. People travel for different reasons — a holiday is very different from a business trip, so brands should alter their messaging depending on the nature of their travel.
They need to find the right information at the right time and they expect their needs to be anticipated. With a powerful base of customer data powering predictive analytics, businesses can forecast travel needs based on their previous actions such as seat preferences, time of travel etc.
Good customer data = smooth customer journeys
With the changes from the pandemic now part of our everyday lives, people are ready and eager to travel again. As a result, travel brands have a huge opportunity to bring in new customers and build relationships, but that is only possible if they cater to changing customer expectations by using customer data gathered through digital and in-person interactions.
The right customer data tools will make sense of the data and give companies a full 360-degree picture of travelers, allowing them to identify unique touchpoints for each individual and effectively personalize customer journeys.
To learn more about how to use customer data to boost customer loyalty and retention, check out Amperity and Skift’s report "How Travel Brands are using Data to Drive Growth."