When it comes to experience businesses, there’s one sector that has to go further than any other: travel and hospitality. Why? Because the experience they provide is at the core of the product they are trying to sell. A single poor moment may be enough to compromise an entire holiday—and consumers are more than happy to share their views widely.
This month marks 17 years since the founding of TripAdvisor, arguably the largest travel review brand in the world, boasting over 500 million hotel, accommodation, attraction and travel-related business reviews generated by more than 315 million members globally. Essentially, the experience on this experience business is the provision of information to ensure your experience is positive when you experience your travel experience. Did you get that? Phew.
But the question is, what happens when a travel brand is challenged? Can a customer’s demand for an experience ever go too far?
Earlier this week, Business Insider reported on a case faced by an airline when a customer attempted to board a flight with an emotional support peacock. Yes, you read that correctly—a peacock.
American airlines are seeing increasing demand for emotional-support animals to board flights. Unfortunately, not all animals are perfect, and problems are arising. According to Business Insider, Delta Airlines has seen an 84% increase since 2016 in incidents involving improperly trained animals, including urination, defecation, and attacks on passengers and crew members. What’s good for one customer experience may not necessarily be good for all. So where does an experience business draw the line?
Also this week, a leading tour operator announced a new innovation allowing its customers to pre-book and pay for reservations on poolside loungers for the duration of their holiday. Feedback has been mixed with some raving about this innovation as a way to improve their holiday experience. No more early morning sprints to ensure their perfect location! Others complain about the added cost and the feeling of a two-tier holiday experience, depending on income. Once again, what’s good for the goose might not be good for the gander.
How can an experience business win? Are their risks and issues an experience business needs to take into account when reaching for the next level? What challenges, opportunities, pitfalls and praises have you gone through when developing your strategies and ideas? Share your comments below.