May has always been a month of change: college graduations, weddings and the promise of warmer weather and beach vacations. For the travel industry, the start of May presents multiple opportunities to engage with both new and existing customers as they map out plans for these exciting events.
But there’s another change on the horizon: customer expectations. Thanks to breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data analysis technology, customer data has become widely available to the travel industry. As a result, consumers anticipate highly personalized interactions across online and offline channels. And it isn’t just the travel industry experiencing a transformation in customer expectations: retail and financial service companies are also seeing a rise in customer demands for individualized customer experience. And while brands like Starbucks and Dominos are adopting the technology to meet these expectations, other companies are struggling to develop an impactful personalization strategy.
But fear not – the ticket for successful engagement does exist! We’ve mapped out a few ways to use personalization for an improved customer experience.
Pack your bags full of data on your customer
Travelers often spend months browsing vacation options before booking a trip, so it is crucial to capture all the data from their search and browsing history. A centralized data platform can aggregate all these touchpoints, analyzing the data so that travel company can reach out to the customer at the right time with the right information. If a family of four is searching for flights to Europe during the summer months, a travel company might seal the deal by sending a family discount package for flights abroad. There is a goldmine of data surrounding every traveler, and the right technology can help turn that data into meaningful interactions.
Ensure your guidebook covers online and offline channels
As we mentioned, it isn’t just the travel industry that can benefit from a personalized approach during the month of May. For example, a graduating college student might consider opening a savings account now that she has full-time employment. Perhaps she visits a bank with their parents to learn more about investment options but doesn’t open an account onsite. Sending a follow-up email about easy mobile banking options is a way for the bank to reengage with this prospective customer. Financial institutions need to have a 360-degree view of their customers to make these types of impactful communications, and offline data is crucial to that picture.
Offer first-class promotions and opportunities
No matter the industry, individualized promotions are key to a winning customer experience. According to a 2017 consumer trends report, personalized promotions on a homepage influences 85 percent of consumers to complete their purchase. For retailers, this means compiling detailed information on their customers’ behavioral and transactional data. By knowing their customers’ past buying behavior, retailers can tailor emails, mobile app push notifications and even in-store to meet their customers’ needs.
If companies don’t rise to meet the modern expectations of personalization, they can guarantee their trip to customer loyalty will be cut short.