The travel and hospitality market is expected to make $220.4 billion in 2023, which is $23 billion more than in 2019 before the pandemic. Statista reports this comeback has led to a rise in travel bookings. The “work-from-anywhere” concept has also shifted consumer travel preferences and behavior.
As the industry continues to recover, travel and hospitality businesses need to understand how to navigate this new landscape. An effective way to pull this off is by utilizing the digital engagement map. This map can help businesses successfully reach and engage with their target audience at a time when consumer behavior is rapidly evolving.
By understanding the key touchpoints and channels of engagement, businesses can position themselves to provide a unique and personalized experience to their customers.
In this blog, we have developed a comprehensive digital engagement map that can help businesses navigate the travel and hospitality landscape in 2023. Our map takes into account the changing consumer behavior and preferences and highlights the key areas where businesses can focus their efforts to maximize engagement and revenue.
Coping with Dynamism in Travel-Hospitality Domains
Due to increased travel demands, the booking window for travel and hospitality brands has been reduced, with travelers searching comparison sites to find the best prices and benefits. Rather than being loyal to a particular brand. Consumers now want brands that offer flexibility to meet their needs.
This while also expecting other benefits like better discounts, more add-on services, last-minute changes, flexible payment options, and free cancellations.
Ariane Gorin, President Expedia (Business), believes that there is a clear trend from a “suddent boost in international and business travel to renewed focus on traveling for self-care,” indicating that consumers value travel more than ever before.
Mastercard’s report shows that there were 365 million in North America and Mexico. Europeans took 550 million more flights taken by Europeans in 2022, presenting an immense opportunity for travel and hospitality brands.
However, the key to success is to comprehend the criticality of connecting with your audience and setting up a close relationship with them, if you wish to distinguish your brand.
Know Your Customers – In & Out
It’s pretty obvious that making things easy and hassle-free for your customers is key. The more seamless their experience is, the happier they’ll be. With travel making a strong comeback, it’s super important to know exactly who your customers are, what they’re into, and what they like. That way, you can get some really useful info and personalize their trip to keep them coming back for more.
You must answer the following questions to crack the algorithm for a perpetually-functioning travel business;
- Have customers rescheduled trips that were canceled due to past travel restrictions?
- Are your customers looking for deals and discounts on travel plans?
- Do customers want to have the ultimate vacation experience?
Businesses can leverage modern customer engagement technology to gain insights into their customers and provide personalized outreach. This may include customizing content based on topics of interest, targeting specific geographic locations or customer segments, or creating special offers for customers motivated by lower prices or seasonal sales.
What Are Top Brands Doing to Engage Travelers?
To ensure an optimal customer engagement strategy and build loyalty, some of the top brands have successfully implemented the following best practices to keep travelers engaged. Read on to get inspired!
Booking.com has successfully built a strong global presence among travelers through its social media strategy. By prioritizing visual content, influencer connections, and Twitter polls, the brand has effectively engaged new audiences and fostered meaningful conversations with its global customers.
Delta Airlines’ Customer Win-Back
Delta Air Lines has created a hyper-personalized customer experience by implementing an omnichannel engagement strategy. It widely targets various customer segments through online and offline touchpoints. The airline conducted a study of different customer cohorts, segmented travelers, and adjusted campaigns. This has resulted in a unique customer journey that serves as an example for travel and hospitality brands to follow.
Marriott Bonvoy’s Customer XP Plan
One example of customer retention by a hospitality brand after the pandemic is Marriott Bonvoy, which launched a new “Day Pass” program that allows guests to use hotel amenities, such as pools, fitness centers, and workspaces, without staying overnight. This program was launched in response to the growing trend of “work from anywhere” and provides a chance for the brand to engage customers who may not be traveling but are still interested in utilizing hotel amenities.
The Ultimate Guide to Customer Engagement for Travel and Hospitality Brands
The travel and hospitality industry is experiencing a post-pandemic boom, with revenue predicted to reach $220.4 billion in 2023. However, the industry is also rapidly evolving due to changing consumer behavior and preferences, making it more important than ever for businesses to engage with their customers in a personalized and effective way.
Customer Engagement Key for Travel and Hospitality Brands
Effective Customer Segmentation
To effectively engage with your customers, it is important to segment them based on their interests and behaviors. By categorizing customers into different groups, such as business, leisure, VIP, or returning customers, you can better understand their unique requirements. This data can then be leveraged to tailor your marketing and communication strategies to better address the specific interests of each customer group. By taking this crucial first step in customer engagement, you can build stronger and more meaningful connections with your customers, leading to increased customer loyalty and revenue growth.
Ditch Customer Persona, Build Customer Profile
To better understand your customers and engage with them effectively, it’s important to comprehend their journey across multiple touchpoints. By utilizing an insights-led customer engagement platform, you can integrate all customer touchpoints and align key information about their preferences, behavior patterns, and other vital details.
Personalized Experiences Always Win
With the help of predictive AI and a full view of your customers, you can automate personalized trip recommendations that suggest different destinations and activities based on each customer’s unique preferences. This dynamic targeting ensures that every customer receives deals tailored specifically to their tastes and interests, resulting in a more enjoyable and memorable travel experience.
Provide More Value to Customers
Proactive is always better than reactive. Sending thank you emails after purchase, directly addressing concerns, or compensating customers for a bad experience with a future discount are some ways you can show customers that you care.
Effective Retention is Key to Long-Term Growth
To increase customer lifetime value, retention is key. One way to accomplish this is by nurturing long-lasting relationships with existing customers through personalized greetings for special occasions sent via their preferred channel, along with an appealing promo code for future reservations.
Building strong relationships with existing customers is crucial for increasing customer lifetime value, and personalized greetings for special occasions can be a powerful tool to achieve this. By understanding each customer’s preferred channel of communication and tailoring the message to their interests, businesses can foster a deeper emotional connection with their audience. Additionally, offering an appealing promo code for future reservations can incentivize customers to book with the business again, increasing the likelihood of repeat business and long-term growth.
At Wigzo, we recommend utilizing customer engagement technology to help businesses efficiently send out personalized greetings and promo codes at scale. This technology can help segment customers based on their interests and behaviors, allowing businesses to craft targeted messages that resonate with their audience.
Prioritizing effective retention strategies like personalized greetings and promo codes can help travel and hospitality businesses distinguish themselves in a crowded market and build long-lasting relationships with their customers. Moreover, trigger-based pop-ups with personalized offers and deals at the right time can help brands engage straying customers and avoid losing business to competitors.
What Should You Expect?
As customers’ urge to travel has risen, they have developed high expectations from travel and hospitality brands. These brands need to revamp their strategies with a customer-first approach that prioritizes relevant messages sent on the right channel at the desired time to cater to the small booking window.
Creating the right customer map for your travel and hospitality business can help you navigate the evermore dynamic nature of this industry.If you wish to crack this in one go and make continuous growth a habit for your travel business – try Wigzo and watch your e-commerce customer growth, sales, and revenue breach all previous records.