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“The customer is king” – a phrase that is totally overused but still holds a significant meaning in today’s fast-paced world. But the customer has not always been the center of attention. If we look back in history, customers were at a disadvantage because information about the products was less accessible, resulting in often higher prices and indefinite quality. With the progress of communication-technology, companies can no longer benefit from that lack of information.
 
Technology and humans cannot be separated anymore because it had such a huge impact on our lives that it has changed processes and our behaviors completely. It has enabled us to communicate, learn and improve our living standard. The internet has taken away the power that companies used to have over consumers. Through the internet, we live in a more connected world, where we have almost unlimited potential information about products such as prices, quality, and more choices. Technology combined with the increasing number of millennials who have a deeper technology knowledge has forced companies to alter their perspective from a product to a customer-focus to stand out in this competitive market.
 
To achieve this, companies in all industries are trying hard to understand the customer and respond to these market changes. Making the customer the focus is even more crucial in the travel industry due to the intangible nature of the travel product. The individual perceptions have a strong influence on the actual trip. With the extensive product knowledge, expectations have risen. People used to want to have their money being well-spent but nowadays people want their time being well-lived on top of that. They want to experience something they have never experienced before, something they don’t expect. The only way to differentiate yourself from the market is to go beyond what your competitors sell and offer something new. As the market is saturated, traveler centricity has emerged as a new buzzword among travel industry professionals and the only way for companies to move forward. By taking a more traveler centric approach, companies are able to better carry out their service and improve productivity.
 
Everyone is talking about traveler centricity. But what does it actually mean?
 
Traveler centricity is the ability to understand and identify yourself with your customer. It is a strategic approach to create a positive experience for your guests during the entire customer journey. Traveler centric is when businesses ensure that the traveler is being put in the center of a business’s philosophy. But companies not only carry out this behavior to customers but also adapt their corporate culture to this approach.
 
Who are our customers? What are their preferences? What is their behavior like when they buy products? What is the best way to cater to their needs?
 
When companies succeed at putting customers first, clients will more likely return. The good reputation, companies gain from that, will bring in new customers who are willing to buy products from a company that they think will treat them right.
However, it is more than adapting your product or services to the needs of the customer. Being traveler centric means to determine the most valuable customers and to put your main efforts into them.
 
traveler centric
 
All of this sounds compelling, doesn’t it? How are companies put this into practice?
 
Get to know your customer
 
Are they satisfied with your product and service? Getting to know your customers and their preferences is a crucial step to start being traveler centric. It is important to allow your customers to voice out their opinion and thoughts and to not be afraid of receiving possible complaints. Nothing will help your company improve more than research. Hotels can create a community page on their website where they can directly communicate with their guests. Surveys are another common method to gather customer insight.
 
Create a traveler-centric culture
 
Most companies invest millions to understand their customers but forget that it is equally important to train employees to act traveler-centric towards the traveler. Your employees are the people that are in direct contact with the customer every day. They are the ones who carry out the service. Therefore, companies have to remember to create a traveler-centric culture within the organization as well.
 
Transforming your company to be traveler-centric is not an easy task but it is worth the time and effort. Getting to know your customer allows you to improve internal processes as well as the experience for the customer. And if the customer is happy, they will return which is not only leading to increased sales but also a positive reputation.
 

Conichi Smarthotel Sep 12
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