Customer Experience in the Travel Industry In 2021

Emilly

, Business

Today everything is on mobile. Many travel brands are now thinking about connecting mobile with customer travel experience, from destination search to payment to trip completion. Mobile devices have become convenient to frequent travelers, be it airport checking, ticket information, flight onboarding, itineraries, flight entertainment, hotel details, and what, when, and where to eat. The success of mobile phones is visible everywhere. 95% of adults use smartphones in their day-to-day lives, and most of the travelers have cited using mobile apps for travel, hotel, and destination booking.  

For travel partners, the gradual shift in mobile technology has opened doors for various opportunities and fits entirely into the process of digital transformation. But just being available on mobile is not sufficient. According to Adobe’s research, mobile needs vary from generation to generation, and every person’s expectations are different from those of other age. A seamless mobile experience is the need of the hour. Because of the many digital transformations, travel brands should look beyond the app to create balanced, integrated expertise that reflects mobile usage while making the travel experience easy, convenient, and flexible.  

Today travel brands have started recognizing the importance of mobile presence. Marketers know that most of the traffic comes from mobile devices through mobile sites and mobile apps. Mobile places are becoming a part of the marketing strategy, and mobile marketing will only increase in the coming days. With further development and penetration in mobile devices, there is high engagement on mobile than on the web. It’s even more comfortable for modern travelers to project their complete journey on a mobile device.

How is the mobile experience helping travel brands in brand building? 

Are we ever imagined how a successful mobile integration looks like in today’s world for most of the top travel businesses? Look at Google Trip, how accurately it shows mobile locations, customer reviews, and other data for searches that you are not even aware of or never heard of before. When you connect with customers on their mobile devices, remember to be as simple as you can. We have to be smart and diligent and wisely play with our messaging because whatever we say, share, or propagate, has to make sense and what the customer wants.  

How to travel mobile customer experience will look like in the future?

We already how travel brands these days use mobile phones to improve customer experience and serve customers at ease. But that’s today. What will the mobile customer experience look like in the future? Many mainstream professionals predicted that AI-driven technology, virtual assistants, and other technology would expand horizons in the coming days. The use of messaging apps and AI-focused chatbots have already integrated into the mobile travel space to a better mobile travel experience.

Another technology expected to rise and boom the travel game is a high-speed mobile internet 5G. With the acceptance of 5G and its availability everywhere, travel companies will be able to service customers through mobile devices and assist them with useful content anywhere and everywhere. Such a change will only help customers come closer to the brand and become loyal customers.  

There is voice technology that will profoundly impact how mobile services are marketed in the travel industry. Voice-based functionality is already available through virtual assistants. Unlike virtual assistants connected to the device, mobile phones go with customers and help them with intelligent searches. When everything is voice, you can connect with your customer with the right messaging and ensure a dynamic experience. 

Words of the wise for the mobile marketer

  1. Mobile is not an option anymore. It’s a trend and a necessity. Modern-day travelers expect a seamless and flexible mobile experience when they travel – from beginning to end and afterward. Only through data and analytics, you can create a pleasing experience for customers.  
  1. Investing in mobile technology analytics will be the best idea in 2021  
  1. Travel brands must adapt to an omnichannel experience. They must offer substantial customer experience as customers go about multiple devices and touchpoints across their journey.   

Trends that will up the travel game and work on improving customer experience  

Contactless & Flexible Payments

A critical aspect of travel tech is the ability to collect contactless and flexible payments. It will allow travel companies to collect revenues in different styles and give them the flexibility to make payments when they do not have cash, debit, or credit card to make the payment. It saves time and also enhances the customer experience.  

During the coronavirus pandemic, contactless & flexible payments started as a means of convenience but later emerged as a critical factor in the travel industry. When customers are apprehensive of using cash during deadly outbreaks, they can turn to contactless payments to save themselves.  

Voice search & control  

In the travel industry, smart mobile devices, voice-assisted speakers, and AI-based technology have helped increase voice-based search, which ultimately improved user experience. Hence, it’s essential to design your website with a voice-based search to build revenue from it.  

Along with voice search, voice control is also useful in molding user experience in the travel industry. Voice control is beneficial, especially when you don’t want to speak to the staff about trivial matters like increase/decrease room temperature, managing lighting, etc. Other industries will soon see voice control and searches in their respective fields too. 

Robotics technology  

Robots are a fantastic technology that is taking over the travel industry and is continuously improving. In the hotel space, robots are being used to carry easy tasks like meeting and greet customers. Some hotels have even utilized them for cleaning and carrying guest’s luggage etc.  

In the restaurant space, they can use robots to prepare food and serve them to customers. At airports, robots can handle security aspects like guest checking. Some travel agents are even using robots for pre-screening, reducing wait time, and making it quicker for customers. Not just travel, many industries have started the use of robots in their respective fields as robots tend to eliminate human-to-human contacts.  

Artificial environment

The use of the artificial environment has led to the rise of virtual reality in various sectors, but its role in the travel space is significant. The impact of virtual reality is usually high, especially in those cases where customers want to visit a faraway place virtually at their home before deciding on the place booking. 

Using VR, customers can teleport themselves to different locations and travel to their favorite place at their convenience and time. From restaurants to parks and museums, you can cover it all in one go. Through VR, you can also stand out from your customers who do not use any technology for brand building. Most VR has a 360-degree approach and compatible with the web, covering all angles to the traveling needs, and very helpful for travelers who are reluctant to travel due to the pandemic.  

Chatbots

Chatbots are another sensitive technology that is single-handedly supporting customer queries and concerns 24/7 throughout the year without any staff involvement. It is the most sensible investment to make in the travel space as it takes care of the customer service. Predominantly, most of the chatbots answer basic questions, which have common answers, or share relevant links to the customer for self-help.

Yet, there are advances to the chatbot platform that will increase as they interact with customers daily. During any pandemic, chatbots are extremely useful in answering policy and security-related answers. They can even educate and guide customers about security measures and other hygiene tips.  

Cybersecurity

Those in the travel domain would know how vital is cybersecurity. With new tools and assets comes a significant risk of cyber fraud and other data breaches. It’s on the part of the travel company to safeguard its customers’ data. Travel companies are generally at risk as they play around with many data and employ many people to handle such data.  

Some of the significant threats travel companies face phishing and ransomware attacks and human or manual errors caused by their employees. For safety, it requires to be well-versed with all the security tools, and get the staff trained on it. More than ever, it’s imperative to know the rules and regulations of countries that take data security seriously.   

Internet of Things (IoT)  

Internet of Things (IoT) is the most promising and emerging trend that is adopted by all industries. It’s even more effective in the travel space as it improves the internet connectivity bandwidth between different devices and allows them to send or receive data seamlessly. The increasing use of IoT in the travel and tourism industry has brought a significant change and will increase with time.  

With IoT, customers can connect and control multiple devices in the hotel room at the click of a button. They can take advantage of the heater, lights, kitchen service, air-condition, and other electronics appliances without getting up from the bed.   

Facial recognition technology  

Another key tech trend is facial recognition technology that removes friction and improves interactions at the purchase time. Other technologies also come with facial recognition like biometrics, retina scanning, and other physical identifiers.  

In some countries, hotels have already started using recognition technology to access rooms via fingerprints or allow contactless check-ins. However, it is said that recognition technology will bloom shortly so much that customers can even pay for their meal by simply walking in.  

Artificial Intelligence (AI)  

Other than robots, artificial intelligence (AI) is used for different purposes also. The most basic use of AI in the travel industry is to serve customers within stipulated times and ensure rapid responses. AI is also beneficial in capturing customer data and analytics that can be used for marketing strategies.  

In addition to data gathering, the senior management team can make smarter decisions and identify areas of improvement to help customers with uninterrupted services. It will also tell you if the business at hand is managed the right way or needs further attention.  

Conclusion

Companies in the traveling space must understand the latest trends and tweak their services as per customers’ needs and requirements. Understanding and using the above directions will improve customer experience and bring more customers to your business. More customers mean more business and will help you to optimize revenue and business performance.