• Getting Personal: Does Customization Lead to Traveler Satisfaction?

    CWT Travel Management Institute 2015 white paper Faster, smarter, better?

    CWT Travel Management Institute 2015 white paper Faster, smarter, better?

    This is the second post from Jennifer Green in the series on CWT Travel Management Institute’s recent study, Faster, smarter, better?. Read the first post on mobile, or visit www.cwtinsights.com to read the full report.

    Driven by their experiences in retail (such as Amazon’s “Customers who bought this bought that” suggestions), travelers expect relevant, personalized service in their business and leisure travel.

    Leisure travel providers are already offering customized experiences to customers; Hipmunk, for example, allows people to integrate Google calendars with flight searches, while TripAdvisor offers recommendations based on an individual’s travel history.

    These “market of one” levels of personalization are expected to spread to and evolve in managed travel in the near future. Here’s what’s going to help us along the way:

    Big data: Companies have access to massive amounts of data, from traditional and non-traditional sources. This data will allow them to spot patterns and create unique offers for individual consumers.

    Ancillary services: As IATA’s New Distribution Capability is rolled out over the coming months and years, airlines will be able to bundle and customize their packages to better suit specific travelers.

    Social media: With 87% of travelers citing hotel reviews as a key influence in their travel bookings, companies who are able to access this data will be able to harness its power and recommend properties based on an individual’s previous reviews and experiences.

    So what’s CWT doing about customization? We’re not just sitting and watching things develop. We’re using our private review site, CWT Hotel Intel, to allow travelers to review properties they’ve stayed in and view their peers’ recommendations, while travel managers can use the valuable feedback to support and adapt their hotel programs.

    CWT To GoTM, our award-winning travel app, lets travelers see their previous stays, the most popular properties booked by colleagues, and other information that helps them decide where to stay, whether it’s their first time visiting a destination or their 100th.

    What do you think, would personalized offers improve your satisfaction when you travel? Let me know in the comments below.