Travel TrendsMore than half, especially the millennials and Generation Z, expressed a preference for digital channels.

Hang up the phone, travellers want a connected experience

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The research finds that 73% of customers say one extraordinary experience raises their expectations of other companies.

Anyone sick of hearing that customer expectations have changed and travel companies need to up their game might want to consider the findings of a survey from Salesforce.

The company gleaned insights from more than 8,000 consumers across destinations including Canada, France, Germany, India, U.S. and the U.K. for its State of the Connected Customer study.

The research finds that 73% of customers say one extraordinary experience raises their expectations of other companies.

An even greater proportion, 84%, say the experience provided by a company is as important as the products and services.

And, two thirds of customers are willing to pay more for a great experience.

Perceptions versus reality are also interesting in the report with 73% of customers expecting companies to understand their needs and expectations versus the 51% that say companies generally do.

While 62% of customers expect companies to adapt based on their actions and behaviour, only 47% of customers say companies generally do this.

Hand-in-hand with the desire for great interaction and experiences with companies is how quickly customers expect to find what they want.

The research shows 56% of customers expect to find what they need from a company in no more than three clicks compared to the 45% that say they can generally find what they want in those three clicks.

And customers expect companies to use new technologies to boost the experience according to 75% of survey participants.

In addition, 71% expect companies to communicate with them in real time and 69% expect connected experiences.

The balance is also tipping in favor of digital channels with 55% of all customers expressing a preference of these while for Millennials and Generation Z, it rises to 68%.

Taimur Khan, general manager and vice president of travel, transportation and hospitality at Salesforce, says executives from airlines and other travel companies need to think of their own daily interactions.

He was talking about changing expectations and the decreasing use of traditional phone interaction during the Amadeus Airline Executive Summit last month

“You have got accustomed to using a channel of your choice - Facebook, messaging, WeChat. You don’t spend as much time on the phone, you interact. Why? Because it has relevance, you get context, you get to choose.

“This is what we do in our personal lives and we do it every day without thinking so why use it (phone) as the only way to communicate with our customers.”

He points to companies such as Marriott and Ticketmaster as companies that have invested to understand their customers better and engage with them in the channels they prefer.

Source: Phocuswire

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