In the age of the experience economy the quality of every customer interaction builds customer loyalty and advocacy, and both are closely aligned to profits.
Big data and the increasing use of technology enable brands to understand their customers better – often better than they understand themselves. With embedded cookies tracking clicks online, brands have the opportunity to be very forensic and holistic in eliminating ‘friction points’, and relentless in identifying their customer's emotive and practical needs as they search online with their credit cards at the ready.
Implicit in the customer experience is a silent plea: “Know me and what I want before I want it.” It seems that privacy intrusion is a trade off most customers are willing to accept for a more tailored experience.
But not all. Research by Amadeus shows that 64% of travellers in Asia Pacific are open to sharing their information, especially Indonesians (80%). However, 69% of Japanese are not.
In its research entitled 'The Journey of Me' (very millennial), Amadeus found that the top sources of influence were online travel sites, friends, family, work colleagues and reviews.
The research found that travellers had three emotive and practical needs while on the road: accessing maps and location info, sharing pictures with family and friends, and letting people
know they were safe. That’s why Facebook, Google, What’s App, Twitter and the like command such loyalty – they meet our needs at home or on the road.
Travellers also wanted the right recommendations through the right channels at the right time, be it by email, chat or social media. If brands surprise and delight them then loyalty is more likely. However, 14% of travellers in the research said no travel service provider ever exceeded their expectations. Only hotels at 24% or booking sites at 23% were likely to delight.
The key takeaway is: if you want loyalty look at the customer experience holistically, identify any friction points and aim to remove them.
According to Harvard Business Review, there is a clear statistical correlation between this kind of holistic approach and financial growth. Evidence shows customers on a frictionless path become advocates for the brand through social media and word of mouth too.
So, take a deep breath. Be brutally honest about your customer experience and start making changes. Greater loyalty and higher profits should then be just a step away.
Privacy intrusion is a trade off most customers are willing to accept for a
more tailored experience. But not all.