Three great reasons for travel brands to do research now

As we move closer to the peak of tourism and yet another season of unpredictability for the travel and tourism industry, how has this intense period of uncertainty impacted your customers, their behaviours and, ultimately, their values and how they feel about you?

The only way to find out how customers have been impacted is to ask them. We have been busy speaking to thousands of people over the last two years on behalf of our clients in the travel, hospitality, and e-commerce industries and we have armed our clients with a whole range of information now being used to develop new products, change marketing strategies, and increase their profit margins.

The strategy that is borne from the insights gathered from a research project can be extremely powerful in increasing sales and growing your business, but you have to use the customer insight to drive change to align with the needs of customers.

You have been through the most turbulent period of your whole career. Your company has been holding its head above water, fire fighting against travel restrictions, cancellations, fast changing government advice, Brexit, staffing issues and, perhaps most importantly, lack of customer confidence. And now your customers are faced with a cost of living crisis and a war in Ukraine. How is that going to affect their holiday buying decisions?

You haven’t had time to look up, let alone look around you. When was the last time you checked to see if your customers were still the same people, still wanting the same things, still feeling the same way about your brand? You may not want to spend time and money on checking in with them. But if you don’t, you are going to be shooting in the dark. Everything has changed.

The top three reasons for travel companies to do research and to do it now are

1. Identify The Opportunity

Research allows you to sit at the table with your customers and see the world from their perspective. Customers can describe in detail their perception of your business and how you fit into their lives. It is for you to listen, learn, analyse, and decide how you will respond to understanding their view of the world.

It is only you that can identify the opportunity for your product or service by listening to customers. For example, if you hear that your most affluent customers like to make decisions with their partner after the kids go to bed, having a telesales team that knocks off at 5pm will not work for them.

Equally, if your customers are happy with a chatbot then conducting research to ensure that all their questions are being answered with a bot chat is an investment that could significantly streamline your customer service proposition.

2. The Demand for Truth

A key current trend is the demand for authenticity. With disinformation, half-truths and lies that we crave the truth from the companies that we buy from. We want authenticity, transparency, and integrity. Without understanding your customers how can you know what they want to hear from you that will convey the truth? If you attempt to say the thing that you think customers want to hear you will probably get it wrong so, why not ask and get it right!

The answer is always to give customers the product/ service that they want NOT to tell the customers what they want to hear.

Your customers crave certainty and want to buy from companies that they trust and can believe in. Research will help you stand above your competitors.

3. Climate Change Brand Responsibility 

Climate change is one of the biggest issues facing our world and our industry and can be a major driver that affects your customers buying habits. You can choose to ignore it OR climate change can inspire you to transform your business and do something different to what you are used to. Decision makers’ and directors’ responsibility is to inspire customers and lead the way to live sustainably. Gaining a greater understanding of your customer’s eco aspirations will help you identify eco-friendly brand practices, services and/or products of which you and your customers can feel proud. Research will help you gauge how far your customers want you to go, and what they are prepared to pay for it.

Thrive in this period of extreme uncertainty by committing to making your customers happy.

 If you would like to know how to make your new, post pandemic customers happy, email helen@aviatrix.co.uk to arrange a no obligation chat about what kind of research might suit you best.

Aviatrix is an experienced, specialist research consultancy working with clients to transform their business through a deeper understanding of their team and customers.

 

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