The keys to digital disruption in tourism

Kevin Sigliano

25 May 2017

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Tourism companies with a calling for growth must redesign their value proposition and improve the customer experience (service, processes, technology, and knowledge) if they want to connect, capture, and make the newly connected traveler loyal.

Over the next decade, there will be a situation of traction (brand, customer, and business) in the tourism sector. According to the WTO, there will be more than 500 million new travelers and the industry will generate a volume of more than $600 billion dollars this year, with a growth rate in double digits.

This promising landscape can be a key lever for boosting tourism companies as they strive for continuous improvement, enhancing their disruptive capabilities and culture of innovation to achieve key business objectives and, above all, satisfy the omnichannel traveler.

Redesigning the tourist experience

The new strategies should take advantage of the opportunities stemming from the adoption of social media platforms, mobile apps, and new dynamics in e-commerce. It should be noted that what is at stake is a more than 10 point difference in profitability, depending on the success of Digital Transformation tactics.

A good Digital Transformation strategy culminates in new business models and transforms operations, along with providing a new architecture and use of intelligence with real-time business, financial, and consumer data, all with the ultimate end-goal of developing new formulas to enhancing the customer experience.

  • The corporation should know the user in each step of the customer journey -inspiration, collaboration, sharing information, planning, reservation, recommendation–, and try pioneering digital direct sales tactics to maximize client profitability and satisfaction. It is fundamental to have a team of growth hackers (experts in profitable growth) with digital knowledge, experience in conversions, and customer vocation on hand.
  • Tackling the challenge of customer knowledge and satisfaction from new perspectives is also necessary. There is a lot of room for improvement, given that an IBM Watson Analytics study found that only 37% of consumers are satisfied with companies’ levels of service and operating capacity; and the Marketer Customer Barometer found that 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for personalization and a better customer experience.
  • Brands’ reputation and desirability multiply with spontaneous testimonials and exchanges of opinions among consumers. 50% of new business comes from customer experiences, according to the latest studies of conversion in the tourism sector.
  • Travel companies should be familiar with the daily NPS (Net Promoter Score) or level of satisfaction for managing the virtuous ROI cycle in digital tourism, as well as identifying opportunities for improvement. This new process of customer experience analysis and innovation will be continuously reviewed and optimized (like Toyota’s Kaizen concept).

Addressing challenges

Satisfaction surveys and market trends show that it is important to redesign the consumer’s role and adapt the value chain to promote active participation. A linked and involved consumer generates prescription, brand credibility, and maximizes the ROI of acquisition, engagement, and loyalty strategies.

Management teams must address these challenges without a fear of failure, combining agile technology, data, and creativity in search of excellence in the customer journey. The innovation and learning challenges in digital tourism just started, and only a few companies will be able to surprise the traveler without ceasing to maximize their financial results.

This article was originally published on Kevin Sigliano‘s LinkedIn Pulse profile on May 16th, 2017.