CX to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of travel

CX to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of travel

“Customers may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

Maya Angelou

Studies often compare pre and post-pandemic CX data, given that it was one of the most impacted aspects across industries, let alone the travel sector. Even before the pandemic, travel customers encountered challenges ranging from ticket booking and navigating airports to taking a taxi back home. And for some, traveling is an emotional experience, and the disruption of their dream trips can be particularly disheartening. Although the travel industry has long been hailed for its commitment to exceptional customer experiences, delivering flawless CX remains a considerable challenge, even with all the tech by our side. In this article, we will delve deeper into customer sentiments, explore strategies to enhance customer experiences, and see the role of CX in the future of travel.

Travel CX trends: Understanding the customer sentiment

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  • According to a recent report by PWC, 73% of travelers emphasize that the pivotal factor influencing their purchasing decisions is customer experience.

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  •  According to DataResearch, worldwide CX/CE revenue is forecast to rise over the next several years, reaching $4.3 billion in 2026.

DataResearch also anticipates that the key requirements of travelers in terms of customer experience are Omnichannel interactions, self-service, desire for personalization, and increased communication needs. 

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Importance of Customer Service for the Travel Industry

According to a study by Think with Google, great customer service is the most important factor of consideration for high-value travelers. 60% of them say that customer service matters most to them when choosing a brand to travel with. Customer service is of paramount importance in the travel industry due to its significant impact on customer satisfaction, loyalty, and the overall success of travel businesses. Here are key reasons highlighting the importance and effectiveness of customer service in the travel industry:

  • A satisfied customer is the best business strategy!

Exceptional customer service leads to higher levels of satisfaction, increasing the likelihood of customers returning for future travel needs.

A positive interaction with customer service contributes to a memorable travel experience, enhancing customer satisfaction.

  • Reputation is everything

Customer service experiences often translate into online reviews. In the present era, it’s crucial for brands to interact with customers online. A negative experience shared by a single customer can persist on the internet, permanently impacting your reputation.

Positive reviews contribute to an enhanced reputation, attracting new customers and building trust in the brand. 

  • Retain your customers, always

Building strong relationships with customers is essential for long-term success. Excellent customer service fosters these relationships, leading to customer retention and reducing the need for extensive marketing efforts to attract new customers.

  • Keep improving with customer feedback

Customer service interactions provide valuable feedback that travel businesses can use for continuous improvement. Understanding customer concerns helps in refining services and addressing pain points.

  • Gain a competitive advantage

In a competitive industry, outstanding customer service becomes a key differentiator, helping travel businesses stand out from the competition. Satisfied customers are more likely to recommend a travel service to friends and family, contributing to a great competitive edge.

Shaping the future of CX in the travel space 

“70% of CEOs are highly interested in AI-enhanced CX”

          – IBM

AI-enhanced customer experience is not a thing of the future, it is here, right now. But in the coming years, it is going to revolutionize the CX in the travel industry even more. Let’s delve into the role of CX in the future of travel and how can companies win the CX game- 

  • Increased Personalization:

As per McKinsey & Company’s findings, effective personalization endeavors lead to heightened client engagement and increased revenue. To be precise, this yielded a 20% boost in customer satisfaction, sales conversion rates, and employee engagement.

Hyper-personalization, facilitated by AI and data analytics, will empower highly customized experiences, delivering personalized recommendations, services, and itineraries aligned with individual preferences and behaviors. Understanding customer behavior and offering tailored solutions fosters stronger connections, leading customers to identify more closely with a brand and consistently choose it.

  • Chatbots:

AI chatbots play a crucial role in the CX strategy of any organization. Offering continuous availability, multilingual support, flawless, and immediate responses, chatbots contribute to cost savings for businesses. They also empower agents by saving time, allowing them to focus on handling important queries.

In the travel sector, customers are consistently mobile and lack the time to engage in phone calls with human agents to address their inquiries. AI-based chatbots empower customers to independently resolve queries swiftly within a minimal timeframe.

  • More focus on omnichannel customer support:

Customers are increasingly looking for effective communication channels with their travel and hospitality service providers. Kapture CX facilitates the consolidation of queries from various channels onto a unified dashboard, enabling agents to swiftly address them. The inclusion of an omnichannel customer support dashboard ensures nothing gets missed, resulting in rapid and seamless query resolution. This, in turn, contributes to improved Average Handling Time (AHT) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) scores.

  • Predictive Analytics and the power of NLP:

Natural Language Processing (NLP) enables organizations to comprehend, interpret, and address customer inquiries in a manner that is more human-like and contextually aware. It empowers chatbots and virtual assistants to engage in meaningful, natural conversations with customers, significantly elevating the quality of the overall support experience. NLP also facilitates sentiment analysis, allowing companies to understand customer emotions and tailor responses accordingly. 

Through the analysis of historical data and patterns in customer behavior, businesses can anticipate issues proactively, personalize support, and make informed decisions based on data. This not only enhances customer satisfaction but also streamlines operations by reducing support requests and optimizing resource allocation.

Wrap-up

In the ever-evolving landscape of the travel industry, customer experience is not just a buzzword but a driving force that will shape the future of travel. As technology continues to advance and customer expectations rise, travel companies must adapt, innovate, and understand the role of CX in the future of travel to stay ahead of the curve. By embracing personalization, connectivity, emerging technologies, customer feedback, etc., the travel industry can create a future where every journey is not just a destination but a uniquely memorable experience.

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