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Big data improves the customer experience for travelers

Paul Newman Archive

People who frequently travel, either for business or pleasure, have a habit of developing tastes in their favorite brands. They need airlines to get them from point A to point B, lodging in their destination cities, ground transportation, food and many other provisions over the course of each individual trip. They're always looking to make improvements in the travel experience, and finding better brands can help make that happen.

For the companies that provide services to travelers, using big data analytics can help them win consumers' loyalty and generate more profits over the long haul. Improving service is about increasing the lifetime value of long-term customers, and big data can play a role in gauging people's needs and improving service to win them over.

According to Econsultancy, one major area of emphasis is making improvements to technology to better meet consumers' changing desires. Nigel Pocklington, chief marketing officer of Hotels.com, believes that analyzing data will help his business figure out its client base and determine what web resources and mobile apps people value most.

"By improving our understanding of how our customers interact with us and what they're looking for, we have been able to optimize the design of our website and apps to ensure that we are consistently delivering an excellent experience," Pocklington said.

If companies can strengthen in the areas of information mining and data quality, they can rapidly improve the way they serve people. Here are a few effects that big data can have on the travel industry.

Greater familiarity
By paying attention to their users' technology habits, companies can become more familiar with their customers. Pocklington has found that if people book trips using their mobile devices, they tend to have dynamic, rapidly changing habits. If they use their tablets or PCs, they tend to plan more carefully. These observations can help companies cater to their customers' needs.

Easier searching
By keeping records of people's past travel itineraries, companies can sense their customers' buying habits. Do they sit in the window or the aisle? Do they like nicer hotels or cheaper ones? By observing these tendencies, businesses can provide recommendations that people will appreciate.

Fewer interruptions
By keeping track of any technical difficulties that arise with booking travel, companies can cut down on interruptions in e-commerce and make the process as seamless as possible. People will develop loyalty to their brands if they have faith in their technologies.

Airlines, hotels and other travel-related businesses all exist in highly competitive markets. Using more data analytics can help them stand out among their rivals.

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