Travel and Tourism: How to Enhance the Guest Experience through Market Research

Winning the travel, tourism, and hospitality games is nearly all about customer experience these days. If your brand provides a great guest journey, you’ve either gained a loyal customer, received a positive review, and maybe even a brand advocate for life.

Not to mention, better customer experience increases the chances of repeat buyers by 7 times, with the likelihood of customers trying out the other items or services from the same company increasing by 8 times.

The way to provide these top-notch customer experiences is to get to know your customers and tailor experiences based on preferences and behaviors. In fact:

  • 57% of travelers think brands should tailor their information based on personal preferences or past behaviors, according to Google/Phocuswright.
  • If a travel brand tailored its information and overall trip experience based on personal preferences or past behavior, 36% would be likely to pay more for their services, according to Google/Phocuswright.
  • Personalization is the name of the game in 2018 when it comes to the travel customer experience, according to Skift.

So, what’s the secret to providing personalization and experiences based on preferences and past behavior? That’s right! Capturing data on customer preferences and behaviors through solid market research.

Here are some ways to make market research work for your travel, tourism and/or hospitality brand.

1. Capture data along each cusotmer touchpoint

The travel and tourism industry is particularly unique in that you engage with the customer several times throughout the journey. You engage with them when you market, via email, through your loyalty program, several times during the actual stay, flight or visit, after the customer engagement via customer satisfaction survey, and so many more instances.

To gain a successful and 360-degree view of your cusotmer, you should be capturing data during each of these interactions. This can include anything from using technology to monitor purchasing behaviors and patterns, using a CRM to collect and create customer profiles, and collecting CSAT and NPS data after specific interactions.

Each of these data collection methods will help you get a better view of your customers and give you insight into how you can further personalize their experiences.

Successful hospitality and travel brands currently use data to create customer profiles, manage loyalty programs, drive service innovations, and more.

2. Conduct your own research

Big data goes a long way in helping you understand your customers and being able to offer the service your customers want. However, what if you have a pressing research question that you just can’t seem to find the answer to, no matter how many times you comb through your analytics?

In this case, the answer can always lie in conducting your own research. Once you have fine-tuned your research question, you can decide what the best research approach is. Whether it’s sending out a survey, asking for direct feedback, conducting a focus group, setting up interviews, or engaging in an online community, sometimes the best way to get answers in the travel and tourism industry is to be direct and conduct your own study.

3. Pay attention to feedback

Travel and tourism is also unique in that people are often willing to give feedback without you even asking for it. Don’t believe it? Check out your comment cards, talk to your employees, interview your reputation manager, look on social media, or hop on your online community.

When you’re in the travel and tourism industry, much of the qualitative data is already there, and sometimes you didn’t even have to ask for it. All that’s left to do is develop a system to collect and code the data and then implement it into your business strategy.

If this sounds like a task that’s too hard to bite off and chew, remember you don’t have to go it alone. There are plenty of tools like Fuel Cycle that make qualitative reporting easy.

Wrap Up

It’s true the key to providing the best guest experience lies in understanding the voice of the customer. You can do this with the help of big data, conducting your own research, and combing through data that’s already there with a solid qualitative data coding strategy.

For more information, check out Fuel Cycle today.