What type of customer experience do travelers crave? A recent Boxever survey found that it’s not just the cost of a flight that matters.
While no-frills, low-cost airlines and discount travel providers seem to be getting a lot of attention these days, it’s not the whole story: travelers are looking for more than the best price. In fact, according to recent Boxever research, while 47 percent prefer that airlines and online travel agents (OTAs) show them the cheapest flight options first in online search results, a third of travelers are looking for relevance.
What does a traveler mean why they say they want relevance? It’s about having the best options for their specific, individual needs presented first. This means taking into account not just price, but timing, duration, personal preferences, travel history and needs. Survey results found that 85 percent of travelers would value websites that remember personal preferences and automatically present those relevant choices first.
And travelers are looking for those relevant experiences throughout their journey, not just during booking. Most passengers say they would appreciate if a flight attendant were to know their drink of choice and connection schedule before they step foot on the plane.
While some travelers will be driven by cheaper ticket options, it doesn’t mean they are willing to sacrifice the perks and amenities they are accustomed to. Travelers often take advantage of bundling relevant ancillary services with their tickets, customizing their purchases to add things that matter to them, like a checked bag, priority boarding or a premium seat.
Those add-ons matter to customers more than you might think and according to Boxever research, most aren’t willing to trade much for a cheaper ticket. For example, just 19 percent are willing to trade seat size and leg room for a better deal; only 18 percent are willing to do without the perk of carry-on luggage to spend less. No-frills, low-cost airlines may always be the choice of the deal-seeking traveler, but many others want to be guaranteed simple luxuries while flying.
Airlines and other travel providers truly have their work cut out for them. After all, no two travelers are the same: A high-end business passenger may crave a luxurious flight, with extra leg room and dinner service, while a college student on a budget may want to get from point A to B as quickly and affordably as possible. To truly delight customers and drive loyalty, airlines need to understand what matters most for each customer as an individual, and provide personal, memorable experiences to each one.
Download the latest report from Boxever for new consumer findings around the travel search and booking process: The Rise of Relevance and Customer Intelligence