Published 17 December 2019

by Madeleine Kvarnhem
Expert in helping business travel agencies to create customer value

The road to success leads back to the traveler

Do you agree with me that if the traveler is king, technology is the crown?  I believe that being tech-minded and traveler-centric could be the difference between thriving and surviving. Let me explain why:

Technology is massively influencing the behaviors of all types of travelers. The increase of mobile usage is bringing more and more people online. Machine learning is increasing the productivity. Biometrics will become the preferred authentication method by 2025*. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will make self-service interfaces more intuitive and help us anticipate customer needs based on their chat history, travel preferences and other. It’s all about embracing these changes.

Transformation

In addition, new business models are transforming the way we live, work and create value. Fueled by technology, the travel landscape has changed dramatically. Alternative accommodation providers like Airbnb and cab services like Uber - which did not exist a few years ago - are now multi-billion-dollar companies operating successfully in the shared economy. Call them innovators or disruptors, these guys are targeting the end traveler knowing exactly what he/she wants. They’ve got it right: understanding the traveler and personalizing their offer is key.

Which means that now, more than ever, ‘traditional’ travel players need to keep up with the race – staying alert to trends, embracing new technology and focus on the traveler’s, or the king’s, behavior and expectations.

How traveler-centric are you?

Now, I am curious how you are embracing this change, of putting the traveler at the center:

 _ Do you know who your customers really are? 
    What they want/don’t want, the types of messages they respond to and why.

 _ Are you encouraging loyalty?
    If you do, in what ways do you do that?

 _ Is your customer experience a differentiator?
    Acquisition is great, but retention is really vital in your key customer segments.

 _ Are you leveraging user-generated content?
    Reviews and ratings are increasingly persuasive in today’s omni-channel media world.

 _ Do you have an omni-channel approach?
    Being traveler-centric with an end-to-end vision of travel could help you formulate better value-based offers across multiple channels.

And, the million-dollar question:

Is the traveler at the center of everything you do?

This is literally the million-dollar question. Remember that today’s travelers, both for business and leisure, want the total trip experience. From inspiration all the way to search, booking and recommendation. They want to be taken good care of – and if they aren’t, they will let the whole world know. From any device. At any given time of day. The road to success leads back to the traveler, and it’s increasingly in all our best interests to put their needs first.

Do you agree with me  -  does the road to success lead back to the traveler? Please share your thoughts on this with me and my colleagues.

 

*Source: ‘Technology in 2025: Prepare for the fourth industrial revolution.’ on pluralsight.com

  

About the author

Madeleine KvarnhemMadeleine Kvarnhem joined Amadeus in 2005 and currently is a Regional Portfolio Manager, acting as the bridge between our commercial and product portfolio and strategy teams. Actively involved with our business customers in Scandinavia and beyond, part of her job is to spot customer needs and share these insights within Amadeus. When not working, she enjoys exercising and spending time with her family either in the Stockholm archipelago or at her holiday home in Croatia.

Continue the conversation with Madeleine on Linkedin!