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Expectations vs Reality: Bridging the gap to meet demands of consumers

Survey says 88% crave relevant deals

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Global technology consulting firm, Mindtree, has released new findings detailing how digital tech has created unprecedented opportunities that travel businesses must take advantage of.

New and emerging technologies have made it easier to do business in the travel industry and yet there’s still a huge gap to be filled. In the research, called Expectations vs. Reality: How to Better Serve the Connected Traveller, Mindtree analysed responses from over 2,000 US consumers and found that despite the advancements in the digital world, many travel brands still lack a holistic view of the customer and struggle to accurately personalise their offerings.

“Travellers have very high expectations from the brands that they depend on”

Nalin Vij, SVP and global head of travel, transportation and hospitality at Mindtree, said: “Whether travelling for business or for pleasure, travellers have very high expectations from the brands that they depend on to make their experience memorable. Travel providers are poised to harness the most advanced digital technology in the age of personalisation by delivering seamless, context-relevant and connected customer experiences.”

According to the data, the most common reasons why travellers don’t use offers they receive are they don’t arrive at the right time; expire before they can be used; don’t offer enough savings or don’t apply to their areas of interest.

88% of the respondents stated that they are more loyal to a brand that offers relevant deals. 77% agreed they want travel products (car hire, hotel rates, currency exchange) all in one place. 47% said they would be open to paying a premium of at least 17% for more contextual and relevant offers. But the problem is that only 22% of respondents stated travel providers always recognise them as a past customer.

“A challenge that travel brands need to address”

Vij explained: “The technology around personalisation is available, but our survey found that most travellers are disappointed in how effectively their travel provider offers a custom-fit ecosystem. This is a challenge that travel brands need to address, as many are still burdened with their investments in legacy systems.”

Mindtree recommends taking the following steps to deliver more personalised experiences:

  • Integrate data silos for a more accurate view of customers from multiple digital touch points
  • Build rich customer personas, powered by a strong customer 360 foundation, enabling customer recognition at every touchpoint
  • Create tailored customer offers by creating content, offers and recommendations using context-weighted personalisation algorithms
  • Employ omnichannel strategies across channels including voice, mobile and web to target and deliver personalised information and services
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