Measure the experience and the customer journey
There are successful managers who make the most important decisions on the basis of intuition and yet in order to accomplish building a digital platform, data-driven decisions are the modern-day prescription for success. Global market leaders such as booking.com or Amazon long ago did what the tourism industry should finally be doing now. Find out what this means below.
Data provides facts
The work of big players like Google and Facebook is entirely ‘data driven’ meaning that every decision that is made is based on data. Internet platforms measure every activity of the user such as what they click on, buy and return and where they live. Data provides hard facts in real time that cannot be skewed by personal or subjective feelings.
Destinations should make decisions based on data
The same should apply to the tourism industry and destinations, where it is senseless to make decisions without the foundation of data. The forerunner to big data is the market research that has been done over the years and still applies today in the form of surveys and fleeting statistics. The digital age provides the possibility to go much further. Guests seek information on the Internet and travel using their smartphone. In doing so, they leave behind them a digital trail that can be tracked. Evidence of this can be found in the fact that advertising will appear for days after a guest has visited a webpage. Tourism could just as equally embrace what the advertising industry has been making use of for years.
Tracking the guest through the customer’s digital journey
To carry out comprehensive analysis the contact points of the guest need to be recorded. The so-called ‘customer journey’ includes all of the guest’s interactions with the destination’s digital services. The information from the app and the web is merged into a digital guest profile, which is maintained on a central database. A lot of information is gathered in this pool of data:
- Where does the guest live?
- What are his interests?
- What is his income?
- Where has he vacationed before?
- Where does he want to go next?
- How does he travel?
- How often does he travel with his family/ with his partner/ alone?
- Where does he stay?
- What activities is he doing?
- What does he like to eat?
Know the guest better than he knows himself
By processing the data you already know which places your guest wants to visit before he does. However, the tracking does not end at the time of a booking being made. You want to aim to keep visitors involved in the digital experience both during and after their stay in order to learn what services the guest uses on the website and what ratings, photos and feedback he gives. This is only possible if the guest is willing to disclose this information.
If visualized on a map in actual time, this data makes it possible to make forecasts and predictions about guest movements on a local basis. It might also give representation to possible areas of conflict which could be diffused by targeting your visitor more effectively. All this can only succeed if databases are properly configured and maintained. This is why it is a good time to start making use of the technology we have available today.
10 To Dos for a successful transformation
- Leave your comfort zone – build digital leadership
- Merge the content within one database
- Digitize your part of the world
- Open up your content for it to be distributed
- Digitize your guests by incentivizing them to share their data
- Manage data instead of advertising
- Measure experience and the customer journey
- Manage growth, define the DNA of the destination and attract the right customers
- Give the residents added value by making them ambassadors
- Improve the experience at site