Tourism & Digital: Rethinking the Customer Experience

Customer Experience

Accord­ing to a 2016 study by the Nation­al Union of Fam­i­ly Asso­ci­a­tions, 40 per­cent of French peo­ple do not take a sin­gle vaca­tion dur­ing the year. Among the fam­i­lies not going on hol­i­day, 77 per­cent say that they haven’t tak­en a hol­i­day in at least two years. The rar­i­ty of hol­i­days can be linked direct­ly to the notion of hap­pi­ness.

Indeed, the DNA of tourism is to pro­vide hap­pi­ness. Vaca­tions are looked for­ward to impa­tient­ly, pro­vok­ing a ver­i­ta­ble peak of hap­pi­ness. Indeed, 49 per­cent of peo­ple say that a vaca­tion brings them more joy than their wed­ding day, 51 per­cent pre­fer to trav­el than go on a roman­tic ren­dezvous, and 34 per­cent pre­fer to trav­el rather than receive a bonus! (Hotel­News­Now Study 2016)

The Impor­tance of Con­sid­er­ing the Cus­tomer Expe­ri­ence of a Tourist as a Whole

On the first day of vaca­tion, 87 per­cent of hol­i­day-mak­ers say their hap­pi­ness peaks when they see their room for the first time. This high­light of the hol­i­days, how­ev­er, is part of a much more glob­al jour­ney, which is not nec­es­sar­i­ly tak­en into account by the play­ers in the tourism sec­tor. This jour­ney begins dur­ing the trip’s prepa­ra­tion and ends well after vaca­tion­ers return from their trips.

Dig­i­tal has trans­formed the way we book a hol­i­day. Today, the aver­age trav­el­er per­forms an aver­age of 50 online search­es, vis­its 38 web­sites, reads 12 reviews, and spends 15 weeks search­ing online. (Amadeus Study 2016) The tourism indus­try invests heav­i­ly in the imag­i­na­tion, explo­ration, and book­ing phas­es that pre­cede a hol­i­day. The idea is to cre­ate moments of antic­i­pa­tion that whet the appetite.

On the oth­er hand, tourism actors are min­i­mal­ly or bad­ly present dur­ing the post-trip phase, once they have returned from hol­i­days, which is about exchang­ing mem­o­ries from the hol­i­day and shar­ing pho­tos. It is also an essen­tial time to retain cus­tomers, ensure their loy­al­ty, and encour­age them to make new book­ings.

Case Stud­ies: Using Dig­i­tal to Enhance the Tourist’s Cus­tomer Expe­ri­ence

This con­fer­ence was the occa­sion to share sev­er­al case stud­ies from Adobe cus­tomers, who recon­sid­ered the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence fol­low­ing tourism’s dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion.

Hyatt Hotels: Enrich­ing the Online Cus­tomer Expe­ri­ence with Qual­i­ty Images

When prepar­ing for a trip, the beau­ty and qual­i­ty of images is fun­da­men­tal: 79 per­cent of Inter­net users claim that beau­ti­ful pic­tures encour­age them to browse longer. This is one of the main objec­tives of the Hyatt hotel chain: ensur­ing that the prepa­ra­tion phase of the phys­i­cal expe­ri­ence is as pleas­ant and enjoy­able as pos­si­ble. The brand thus has a data­base of over 70,000 images to enrich the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence on all media.

Aus­tralian Tourism Office: Lever­age User-Gen­er­at­ed Con­tent

The Aus­tralian Tourist Office seeks to make every vis­i­tor an ambas­sador. For this rea­son, they encour­aged tourists to share their vis­its to Aus­tralia on social net­works, through pho­tos, com­ments, or videos. They then aggre­gat­ed this con­tent and made the Tourism Aus­tralia site the hub of con­ver­gence of these exchanges, a space where tourists can share their views. This allowed the tourist office to increase the time spent on the site by 65 per­cent, and to increase the leads that can be for­ward­ed to tourism pro­fes­sion­als by 77 per­cent. It also had an extreme­ly strong image and vis­i­bil­i­ty impact.

In con­clu­sion, this notion of cus­tomer expe­ri­ence isn’t about a sin­gle moment, but about the entire jour­ney, from the moment I begin to plan my hol­i­days until the moment I return home and share my expe­ri­ence with oth­ers.

How can we make sure our cus­tomers antic­i­pate their hap­pi­ness as much as pos­si­ble? What ser­vices can we offer to max­imise their sat­is­fac­tion once they arrive? How can we allow them to con­tin­ue and extend the expe­ri­ence once they return, trans­form­ing them into brand ambas­sadors? These are some of the fun­da­men­tal issues con­fronting the play­ers in the tourism sec­tor today.

What about you, what is your view on the impact of dig­i­tal on the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence in tourism? Do not hes­i­tate to share your opin­ion with­in the com­ments!

Customer Experience
Olivier Binisti

Posted on 07-11-2017

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