Industry-Specific Research Part of Larger CXMB Series
TRAVEL CUSTOMERS HAVE THEIR SAY IN THESE KEY AREAS: CUSTOMER CARE EXPERIENCE, PURCHASE EXPERIENCE AND CUSTOMER LOYALTY
COPC Inc., in partnership with Execs In The Know, has recently published the first volume of CXMB Industry Insights, a new consumer research series that brings the lens of consumer research into focus, one industry at a time.
In this inaugural edition, travel & hospitality is the first industry in the spotlight. The survey results proved revealing, offering a glimpse into the customer experience of travel and hospitality consumers, including customer care, purchase preferences and behaviors, and what it means to consumers to be brand loyal.
Participants in this survey categorized themselves by selecting the reason they had traveled in the previous 12 months: traveled for business only, traveled for leisure only, or traveled for both business and leisure. The survey results are based upon these self-selected categories.
BUSINESS TRAVELERS: THEY TRAVEL MORE AND THEY EXPECT MORE
Compared to leisure travelers, business travelers take far more trips in any given year. Survey results showed that only 10% of leisure travelers took 10 or more trips per year, compared to 41% of business travelers.
Travel frequency wasn’t the only contrast between these two groups. Business travelers were nearly twice as likely to experience a customer care issue while traveling, with 27% of business travelers indicating one or more issues within the past year, compared to only 15% of leisure travelers. While this could be due to the fact that business travelers travel far more often than leisure travelers and should, therefore, experience more issues, results elsewhere in the study suggest that business travelers have a different set of expectations.
When an issue did occur, business travelers typically had a lower level of customer satisfaction along with higher levels of dissatisfaction. According to Figure 1, among business travelers, 35% indicated “very satisfied” or “satisfied” when asked about their general level of satisfaction when resolving issues compared to 44.5% of leisure travelers. In regards to dissatisfaction, 15% of business travelers indicated they were “very dissatisfied” compared to only 3.5% of leisure travelers.
CHANNELS CONSUMERS USE VS CHANNELS THEY PREFER
An interesting contrast emerged when we compared results from two specific questions. First, we asked travelers to indicate which solutions they typically used to resolve an issue while traveling. See Figure 2. Then we asked travelers which solutions they’d prefer to use to resolve an issue while traveling. See Figure 3.
The gaps between which channels travelers typically use and which channels they prefer to use were illuminating. As it turns out, travelers were speaking with someone in person and using automated phone systems far above their level of preference. At the same time, consumer preference for using text, chat and smartphone apps exceeded the actual use of these communication channels. This provides a strong indication that travel-related brands need to either create more options for their customers, or they need to increase the availability and functionality of the alternative channels they already offer.
CONSISTENCY — IT’S WHAT MATTERS MOST
Beyond competitive pricing and even a unique and personalized experience, a consistent customer experience across channels is what most consumers indicated as most important. This held true for both business and leisure travelers. See Figure 4.
For their part, 70% of business travelers considered consistency across channels to be either “important” or “somewhat important” compared to only 59% for competitive pricing and 50% for a unique and personalized experience.
Among leisure travelers, 82% indicated that consistency across channels was either “important” or “somewhat important” compared to 72% for competitive pricing and 62% for a unique and personalized experience. See Figures 5 and 6.
DISCOVER MUCH MORE INSIDE THE COMPLETE REPORT
The free 32-page report contains these and more than 40 other survey questions related to travel and hospitality.
REGISTER FOR THE UPCOMING WEBINAR TO DISCUSS THE FINDINGS OF THE TRAVEL & HOSPITALITY SURVEY
Join COPC Inc. and Execs In The Know, along with Choice Hotels and Marriott, for a webinar on December 6, 2016, to discuss the results and implications of the CXMB Industry Insights survey. Topics include how the results show the need to better understand the multichannel experience, channel use versus channel preference, and purchase habits for both business and leisure travelers. Register now!