The covid pandemic has been a life-altering event globally. More than two years have passed since the coronavirus first made its impact, and finally, many industries are now moving towards achieving pre-covid business functionality.
If you go by the figures mentioned in the skift recovery index, travel rates fell by 26% and 22%, respectively, during the delta and omicron waves. However, if you compare these to the depreciation shown in the first wave (a whopping 96%!!), one can safely say that the tourism industry is slowly getting its mojo back.
Customer experience management (CXM) for travel companies is in a state of flux as travelers are finally stepping out to satisfy their inner wanderlust. Their expectations have undergone a dynamic shift and there is general confidence to try out ‘new’ options.
While this is music to the ears for companies, they can’t derive any benefits from this trend until they really work on improving their customer experience management.
In today’s blog, we’ll discuss some crucial tips that the tourism industry can utilize to shake off the ‘covid slump’. We’d discuss-
1. Where Lies Thou Priorities?
2. Reading Between the Lines
3. Ways to Replenish Customer Experience Management
- Remind yourself why customers travel
- Obtain insights and work towards converting them into actions
Where Lies Thou Priorities?
It would be wrong to say the covid-19 pandemic solely drove the focus on CXM. The shift could be felt for a long time.
As per United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), nearly 250 million trips were undertaken worldwide.
It's possible that travel industry business leaders might be ignoring real, tangible customer experience management as the above-mentioned figures reflect a back-to-normal world.
When surrounded by blitz, it can be difficult to see the light. The same thing is happening with tourism businesses. Below we mention some pertinent questions that can help trace your business outcomes in the post-pandemic world.
- Is the increase in ticket booking a dependable indicator of great customer experience management? Is the ease of traveling constant across age groups, professions, demographics etc.?
For example, a report suggests that all major job categories saw a slump in the traveling rate before and after the lockdown except the unemployed category.
So before you rejoice at the increased number of tourists, you have to understand that it may not be a proportionate representation of an increase in customer experience management.
- Have your growth speculations reached the level they were before the pandemic struck? Or are you studying some more trends and waiting for inspiration to strike?
- Are you genuinely interested in knowing what your customers need? For example, data shows that almost 90% of people would be highly willing to use public transport.
What does your business make of this data? Do you overlook it or channel this preference to plug gaps in your customer experience management strategies?
Remember that CXM would be the CORE answer to all these questions. Customer experience is not just an afterthought, it is the only mode to success.
Reading Between the Lines
Considering the spirit of ‘revenge travel’ sacrosanct, almost all indexes would reflect a utopian time for the tourism industry.
If we look back to the skift recovery index, hotels and vacation rentals’ CAGR showed an inspiring rise between January 2021 to December 2021.
However, if one thinks beyond these statistics, the rise in booking can also be attributed to travelers catching up on lost time post removal of restrictions.
So there can be a sense of general acceptance for even poor instances of customer experience management.
But as more and more time passes, customers might not be this accommodating.
In a report reviewing customer outlook on hotel services pre and post-2019, it was found that there was a stupendous uptick in the percentage of extremely negative feelings (it remains barely shy of 60%!)
Moreover, the situation can be better understood by incorporating business travelers that undertake far more trips than an average person traveling for leisure.
As per a Deloitte report, rising travel prices are one of the five prominent factors causing a sluggish recovery in global business travel.
Ways to Replenish Customer Experience Management
1. Remind yourself why customers travel
The main reason for leisure travel is rejuvenation. The main reason for business travel is building partnerships.
While working on customer experience management, travel and tourism companies should remember these two reasons and thus aim to make each flight and each staycation as unique as possible.
This is also one such industry where, by default, companies need to be two steps ahead of customer demands. Don’t wait for customers to ask for better service.
Provide it to them automatically to boost customer loyalty.
2. Obtain insights and work towards converting them into actions
Covid-19 has upended the way people use to travel. Aware of a potential risk, customers are moving towards safe destinations which offer a unique experience at the same time.
This is the time for making long-term changes to your strategies. You can’t afford to focus on quick fixes. For example, the hospitality industry can use call center organizations' help to obtain deep insights into customer behavior.
A modern call center software, like Convin, is equipped with artificial intelligence and machine learning that help you understand your customers' exact needs. All inbound and outbound calls are recorded with the option of searching those recordings for particular phrases. Call center managers also use such platforms for ranking and coaching their agents so that only the best agents talk to customers.
Travel is one such activity that people take just for the thrill of it. It is also necessary to bring communities closer and companies to expand their horizons. Now is the ripe time for the tourism industry to enhance its customer experience management and make its policies people-centric.
If you are also looking for a tool to take your customer experience-building endeavors to the next level, sign up here.
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