The business of experience
To win customer loyalty in the new era, travel businesses need to provide a more holistic company-wide experience. Keeping pace with customers’ new, often unmet and frequently changing needs demands a “Business of Experience” (BX) model. BX galvanizes companies to push beyond the customer experience philosophy (CX) and organize the whole business around the delivery of exceptional experiences. It is an approach that allows organizations to become customer-obsessed—and reignite growth. Where CX optimizes customer touchpoints around products and services, BX solves for human needs around a purpose.
Ultimately, the future belongs to those who can perpetually adapt their products and services to meet customers’ needs. In the new era, the businesses that win loyalty and seize market share will be those which create, launch and scale new products and services at the speed of customers’ changing needs—and develop the organizational muscles to adapt as those needs evolve.
Think like an app
One way to think about the new approach to the “body” or business model is to see the organization as a computer program with many APIs (application programming interfaces). The APIs enable seamless links between different parts of the organization and allow new systems to be plugged in as they are developed.
For many travel companies, this is a fundamental shift in mindset. It’s one that will make them more agile in developing new products and services. Cloud-enabled secure data flows can be structured around on-demand services. Each team has access to the information they need—when they need it—to make business decisions. Even better, they can be shown relevant insights and next-best action recommendations to help make those data-driven decisions. And when talent is structured around the customer experience, enabled by rich insights, it is far simpler to make small, iterative changes in response to customer demand and to test the success of such changes.
They build powerful ecosystems
To create and sustain loyalty, businesses will have to offer travelers a broad range of products and services, presented seamlessly to the customer through an integrated partner ecosystem.
Integrating ecosystem partners at speed and scale requires a flexible underlying technology-enabled fabric. This underpinning fabric gives a constant view on a customer’s current state—and their potential needs and desires at every step of the journey. At the right moments, it triggers hyper-relevant actions and offers from a vast pool of internal or partner service offerings, to engage and delight the traveler in meaningful ways—from airport assistance to duty-free discounts, in-room services, local experiences and much more.
Key priorities include identifying partners to deliver customer-facing services such as add-ons, and finding the right technology partners to build the flexible core.