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We recently published a new Insights Deck in partnership with Travelport, Mobile and the Next Wave of Digital Disruption: A Look at the Future of Traveler Experience, which explores how mobile and more recent technologies are shifting the way brands engage with travelers. Mobile is now present along every step of the end-to-end travel journey, from research and inspiration to return.
Today, a travel provider’s mobile app isn’t necessarily analogous to their website. Travel brands are shifting away from simply focusing on making transactions over mobile, to building personalized, authentic relationships with their customers. Today, a travel provider’s mobile app isn’t necessarily analogous to their website. Travel brands are shifting away from simply focusing on making transactions over mobile, to building personalized, authentic relationships with their customers.
Travel providers are increasingly using their branded mobile apps to seamlessly integrate into the complete travel journey—not just when travelers are researching and booking trips. While the research and booking steps of the journey are of course an important part of the mobile experience, and likely always will be, travel providers are realizing that their mobile apps can help deepen the way they interact with travelers. Steven Ratcliffe, vice president, product at Travelport Digital, has witnessed this firsthand.
“Our clients were previously interested in replicating their websites on mobile devices, offering bookings, check-ins, and other transactional items. These offerings are obviously still available via mobile, but mobile can now illustrate what the brand can do for the customer, from scaling up customer service capabilities, to supporting travelers when things go wrong.”
The brands that are most successfully leveraging how travelers interact with mobile are the ones that understand all customer touchpoints, before, during and after the trip. They’re the ones putting in the work to truly understand their customer’s needs, and then offering solutions throughout the various stages of their travel journey. As Fergal Kelly, chief commercial officer at Travelport Digital further explains, “The brands that are winning in this economy offer a seamless, mobile-first experience that clearly plot out the critical moments of the customer journey. They engage with the consumer, and provide highly relevant, personalized information and services they need at the right time.”
Personalization is at the heart of the engagement economy. According to a survey from American Express, 90 percent of travelers appreciate when a travel service company strives to customize their experience based on their preferences, while 76 percent of travelers agree that the level of personalized customer service they receive while traveling can really make or break their trip.
Delivering seamless experiences via mobile could mean providing on-demand customer service assistance with a flight cancellation through a mobile chat app, or offering a mobile coupon to a nearby restaurant, sending a weather forecast update, or sending ground transportation information to the traveler on arrival through a push notification. The travel brands that make use of each step throughout the journey, and then take customer feedback, social inputs, location, context, and user profiles into account to personalize the experience, are the ones that will have the best chance of winning customer loyalty, which is increasingly hard to come by.
Travel providers that work to deliver the right information at the right time to the right device, and emphasize personalization, convenience, and customer delight, will be the ones that truly deepen their relationships with their customers and succeed in this new world. To learn more about how mobile can help empower travel experiences, download the Skift Insights Deck: “Mobile and the Next Wave of Digital Disruption: A Look at the Future of Traveler Experience.”
This article was created collaboratively by Travelport and Skift’s branded content studio, SkiftX.