HOW-TO: Leverage Tech Initiatives To Provide Exceptional Customer Experience – Travel & Hospitality (T&H) Industry

Whether you want to tick that item on your check-list or cross a pending item off your bucket list; whether you have to go for a business trip or take a break from that business; whether you have a reason or you want a reason; we all need a lil break time!!

It’s not always about travelling, not about making time for your family; maybe it’s only about seeking serenity or time-off from that monotonous work.

As much as we would like to plan them in advance, we never really get to it. And, most of the times we end up making plans – impromptu.

That suddenness, that itch, that adrenal rush – isn’t it exciting; too overwhelming?!

Well… it’s just the beginning of that holiday which we could do away with.

Price comparison sites, individual booking portals, and third party site and apps are always there to help us make these bookings.

With more and more people hooked on to internet, it is becoming a challenge for these companies to be competitive.

Why is it a challenge?

To start with,

  • There are so many sites and apps available to choose from
  • Then there are promotional offers provided by each of them, which leads to a price war and the need for further discounts by mainstream players
  • Of course, with many competitors lining up one needs to reduce the operating margin
  • The limited budget means there could be small or no upgrade to IT dept.

Don’t stress! Let’s take a practical scenario to understand where we are and where we could be.

Considering, I have to go to a place (like New York) and I’m currently in Miami. Now, all I have to do is open a travel booking site to select an airlines of my choice and a hotel. Alternatively, I can select the hotel from a different site or from the site of the hotel which I generally go to.

This is pretty straightforward as most of the sites have similar flow, user experience. The only different would be in cost.

Most of the hotel sites have content which is static, with an exception of booking rooms, which has dynamic data and involves some user interactions.

How can brands use wearables to improve customer experiences?

How can I bring innovation to this?

Let’s rewind this a bit, shall we?

The moment I had to plan for a booking, I would like to initiate the voice assistant on my phone (like Siri) and say something like “Let’s plan a vacation.”, and Siri would reply, “Which app would you like to access?”

If I have set a preferred app already, then this would not be asked and the app would be launched.

The moment that app is launched or the website is pulled up, the chat bot on the site should ask certain question like, “Where are you headed?”, “When are you leaving and returning?”, and similar question but keeping the interaction to bare minimum and fetching the best results. Then, of course, the data could be filtered out to make a selection.

With my booking done for flight and hotel, I’m all set to go.

Now comes the futuristic bit.

The smartness of these chat bots or voice assistants comes in, when they book a cab (or suggest to book) since I would be needing it, both from current location to airport or train station, and then from destination airport to destination hotel.

Right from reminding me that I’m supposed to leave that day, to my cab approaching in 15 minutes, to route to airport. And then, flight number flashing on my smart watch or the mobile app, to taxi number and contact details of the driver waiting for me at the destination airport, and the route to destination hotel – engaging, informative, relevant, and unique experience.

The taxi could be booked by the person or provided by the hotel, but the door-to-door updates, information received would be such a different and refreshing experience for the traveller.

All along the way, give out vouchers, discounts, conduct surveys, promotional events, or whatever way you can think of engaging and rewarding customer.

I will talk about more of these in my next blog, so keep reading…

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6 Ways To Get Better At Soft Skills

According to Harvard Business School, an individual’s technical skills account for (nearly) 15% of his growth, whereas the remaining 85% (or so) is determined by his soft skills. While the technical skills define the type of work you do, the soft skills define the kind of person you are. Every non-technical work, to its simplest form, like the way you talk or the way you walk can be thought of as a soft skill. Few of the commonly used soft skills are time management, communication, presentation, and team work. There are many more which you can find on a job descriptions, speaking with a HR, or on the internet.

Every year, millions of students graduate from their respective universities; but not everyone is able to get a job. Various researchers have found that around 15-20% of the students (globally) graduating every year are employable.

So… what makes a handful of them tick while the others fuse?

Having studied from the same college, the batch of students graduating would have same information or skills. Of course, some of them would have a natural ability to perform well, but what makes them better is the ability to do more than what they have learnt technically. Think of a job like sales or marketing where you have the knowledge to collect data, but people who are able to connect with clients and present their data in a better way will be appreciated.

Is there any way I can learn or improve?

Definitely! And the best thing is you don’t need to go back to school or college. Naturally, these wouldn’t be easy, at times, or within your comfort zone. And, the first and foremost thing would need is an intent or willingness to learn and change. There are trainings provided by most of the organisations, if not then you can find incredible amount of study material online. But, before you search for course material you should be aware of areas which you want to improve upon. A good to way to do that is self-assessment and taking feedback from your peers and supervisors.

Trying to gulp it all at once could lead to a lost cause. Define certain goals around the skills you want to hone, and repeatedly practice them in your daily routine. Always remember, it’s not about changing others but you and you only. So, don’t force this upon others, however, finding a partner would put it on a fast track. Things we learn since childhood days are difficult to let go, and learning a new skill pushes us to do that. It’s like changing your behaviour, the way you perceive things, and the way you deal with a situation.

There would be times when you would want to quit, the easy way out; but remember it’s a need rather than a want. In order to progress in your career you need to get better at these. Any new skill would start with learning to self-manage.

“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Author speaks: I’m not here to change the world; I intend to make an impact on one soul at a time. If you like my work, please press Like, or better yet put a Comment; perhaps a feedback. However, the best appreciation of my work will be to Share this with your friends and your social circles (FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, G+, and others).

Thanks in advance!