As I browse-dreamed my year ahead, flirting all over the place with as many travel brands as I liked, Prosecco in hand, I was one of the many consumers responsible for Boxing Day travel sales soaring to 40% above par. Most sites lost me at the second or third glitch, many more were abandoned in cart. But one wise brand had done the work to ensure that my browse turned into a booking. Product that shone on a beautiful website with a customer journey, and personalised service experience that I just know will be matched on the trip. For the first time in my 50 something life I didn’t even feel I needed to pick up the phone. (Of course I did - there’s nothing like a human being to seal the deal.) But truth is, they'd had me at first browse!
With consumers calling all the shots – a one-star rating increase on Yelp means a 5-9% increase in revenue – and being spoilt for choice amongst global and local players which they’re exploring over multiple devices, there is an urgent need for travel brands to become integrated experience platforms to expand their reach.
But, fall short of the hyper personalised, tailor made, localised, on demand experiences and world class CX that us consumers have come to expect – before, during and after travel – and we’ll be off. Either doing it for ourselves (80% of travel experiences are still booked offline), or, off with the competition. It was a fierce enough market place before TripAdvisor instant booking and Google Hotels, and tomorrow we may even wake to find Facebook has become a fully fledged travel brand!
Couple all that with a plethora of legacy IT, and coping with a mix bag of disparate travel products, then becoming an overnight “experience platform” may be daunting for some.
But this bunch had done it. So that means you can too. Travel companies who partner with service design experts are outpacing industry peers by 228% via:
So, if you want to soar those above those New Year target sales peaks, you know who to call!
* for the over 50's "Peak" most often means "outstanding" or "the best." Conversely, it can also mean something really bad.
The Urban Dictionary: Peak.