Customer experience, otherwise known as CX, has become an essential term in the hospitality industry, and there’s a good reason for that. Consumers all over the world are reporting a declining quality of customer service, and the US is not an exception in this trend.
In this article, we’d like to take a look at the ways your tourism venture can improve the quality of its CX and thus create the right environment for effortless upsells. What if we focused on improving the customer’s journey and interaction with our businesses, instead of just creating a false impression and sounding salesy? Let’s dive right in, shall we?
First off, what’s CX?
The critical aspect of customer experience is thoroughly analyzing the roadmap of your customer’s journey, from the moment they learn about your service up to the phase when they (potentially) become brand ambassadors or simply create a meaningful connection to your brand.
Initially, your customer sees your ad or learns about your service. They then shift to becoming your potential customer. This is called the “consider” phase.
Then your customer’s journey moves into the “evaluate” phase, when they analyze the value of your offers compared to the ones provided by your competition.
Then they will naturally ascend to the “buy” phase, where they choose to purchase your product or service.
And the last and final leg in a customer’s itinerary is called the “enjoy, advocate, and bond” phase, where they become accustomed to using your services, due to continuous positive customer experiences.
It is essential to stress that brand marketing is not the solution for an excellent customer experience; instead, businesses should focus on maintaining meaningful interaction in all stages of the journey.
Improve CX by understanding your customer
To generate upsells and ensure customer loyalty, it is essential to have an in-depth understanding of your target audience and potential clientele. Therefore, it’s crucial to continually study the behavior and habits of your target social groups. Along with that, it’s also important to be aware of the most popular trends among them.
The Ernst and Young Hospitality report indicates that the majority of hospitality businesses are turning their attention to millennials as their focus market, and Gen X-ers are the runner-up.
For the purpose of this explantation, let’s say your target markets are millennials and Gen Z-ers, the younger half of the population. Even though Gen Z-ers haven’t yet developed their spending power, considering that most of them are under 18, they are arguably an important market to tap into in the long run.
What are some definitive qualities specific to these two generations? First, let’s stress how important mobile technologies are for them. Whatever you do, you need to adjust your services in a way that would allow them to take advantage of them via smartphones.
Secondly, representatives of both generations are passionate about meaningful experiences, rather than owning physical objects.
On a similar note, they’re into real experiences. If they ever visited Paris, they would rarely stand in line for Mona Lisa or buy a ridiculously overpriced ticket to the Eiffel Tower’s elevator. They want to live in the skin of a random Parisian for a few days, so it’s worth considering that when establishing your upsell packages.
What upsells are right for your customers?
Let’s continue with the millennial/Gen Z example and explore what the most reasonable upsells would be, based on their preferences.
Considering how passionate they are for authentic experiences abroad, it would make sense to skip on the museum tours and such, and instead focus on the local food and entertainment, something that Airbnb is very popular for. Furthermore, both of these generations are passionate about so-called do-good food. That’s why you should consider tapping into experiences that feature fair trade, organic, high-protein, and fortified products.
Similarly, according to Accudata’s report, both of these generations are into exotic flavors and spices, craft beers, exquisite teas and specialty coffees.
As a side note, considering how preoccupied the younger generations are with healthy options, that is an excellent reason to have high-quality travel health insurance as an upsell, along with gym options, high sustainability standards for utilities, and eco building certifications.
But how do you know what food and drinks are popular with millennials and Gen Z-ers? To find that out, you need to know their sources. Obviously, the vast majority of this audience are frequent social media users, but it’s worth remembering that millennials are more into Facebook and Twitter, while their successors care more for Snapchat and Instagram.
This market’s interest in technology should also suggest that they will be interested in a variety of upsells that have to do with higher quality tech services. Here are a few options:
- Ability to access room service from their smartphones or other devices
- Faster than usual Wi-Fi connection in their room and the entire facility
- Connection to the hotel’s streaming service from a device, even when out of the premises
- Ability to check in and out via smartphone or other devices
- Capability of solving most issues via smartphone or other devices
Reaching the crowd
Considering that the vast majority of the millennial/Gen Z market is tech-savvy, it is essential to reach out to them in the most suitable channels. It’s safe to assume that technical proficiency is an admirable trait for a business that caters to this section of the market.
To do so, consider tapping into chatbots as a viable option for providing them with vacation options and personalized upsells. Chatbots are a piece of software that is integrated into social media platforms and internet messengers that can simulate a conversation, and automate a broad spectrum of processes.
Also, it’s important to stress that millennials and Gen Z-ers are passionate about omnichannel marketing.
We asked John Esteban, the senior marketing specialist at Trust My Paper and Isaccurate, what other things businesses should consider when advertising for young people. Here’s what he said: “This may be a hefty task, but this section of the market likes personalized experiences. A service that takes into account the personal preferences of each and every one of their clients is bound to be successful today. You should seriously consider investing in purchasing second-party data and having your own ways of collecting consumer data. This will almost immediately improve their customer experience and build loyalty.”
On a similar note, it’s worth mentioning that younger people enjoy loyalty bonuses, coupons, and affiliate offers.
Appealing to the younger section of the market is by no means an easy task, but it comes with great rewards. The winning approach is being technologically advanced and even disruptive whenever you can. Explore social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Vines, and all other channels that they are into. That will provide you with an understanding of what they’re after and what upsells they might be interested in.
This way, you’ll be able to ensure an optimal customer experience, which will allow you to leverage upsells in the long run.
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