The Realities of VR and AR in the Industry - Published in PharmaVoice, June 2019 Read More
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6301 NW 5th Way, Suite 1700
Ft. Lauderdale
Florida 33309
Phone: 800.443.5210

Travel & Hospitality

Customer Experience is More than Beds, Meals, and Seats

3

Then

Just 10 years ago

hotels and cruise lines focused on occupancy rates, airlines on revenue per seat, restaurants on the numbers of times they could turn a table and taxis failed to uniformly offer the ability to pay for a cab using a credit card.

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Uber transformed

the passenger car ride industry through an exacting marriage of customer experience (CX) and digital technology. The customer now picks when and where the car will pick them up via a mobile app rather than hailing on a street or calling a number, chooses the car type and driver rather than chance, knows the route the driver is taking and expected time of arrival and pays digitally via the app rather than diverting to an ATM for cash.

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Now

Now

Although

the hotel and resort, cruise line, airline and restaurant industries have come a long way to improving their CX - underpinned by digital disruptive technologies - they still have a long way to go to prevent the prospect of being Uber’ized in their industry.

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IoT

In every Hotel Room and Cruise Cabin: Enable Voice and Mobile App control of all entertainment devices, lighting, temperature control devices, curtains/blinds, room service and a virtual concierge and booking service. The interactivity of Voice control and the data captured by these devices will greatly enhance the customer experience.

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Our Point

of View

Our Point

of View

Augmented Reality (AR)

in every Hotel, Resort, Casino and Cruise Liner: AR stations that allow guests to experience and book all of the guest facilities such as shopping, pools, sports, restaurants, bars as well as experience and book activities and excursions that the hotels, cruises and partners offer

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Facial Recognition and RFID

in every Hotel, Resort, Cruise Liner, Casino, Airport Terminal and Restaurant: Facial Recognition and RFID tracking to enhance the Customer Experience through employees always knowing guests names, preferences, predicting their needs and asks and optimizing the flow and engagement through their customer journeys

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Our Point

of View

INFLUENCING THE GUEST TO TRAVEL

Today in travel and hospitality, it’s no longer just about amenities, features and price — focus is now customer-centric and experience-based. Guests are looking for more personalized and seamless experiences when they travel. Advancements in analytics and AI are giving brands the power to unleash data and better understand guests, including using predictive signals to engage potential guests. Simple, innovative methods to preview the travel experience will greatly impact guests’ decisions to book as well. Ultimately a stronger, personalized advertising experience is created.

RESEARCHING POSSIBILITIES

The possibilities are endless — they really are! The travel and hospitality industry has so many options to provide to the world’s potential consumers that it truly becomes difficult to formalize a trip/plan. The focus is on simplifying the research process for potential consumers and offering them innovative methods of experiencing what their possibilities may be prior to booking. Previously, consumers would search the web aimlessly waiting for something to resonate with them. Advancements in analytics and AI are now giving consumers a more customized experience when researching possibilities. Brands are now able to drive personalized content and targeted offerings to potential consumers, making the process of booking/finalizing much easier.

ONLINE BOOKING

Over the years we’ve seen a decline in the use of travel agents — no more dealing with phone calls or multiple human interactions. Seeking more control, and to effortlessly manage their bookings, consumers now rely on transparent online platforms to seamlessly book their journeys. Advancements in online booking through mobile, AI and analytics have given consumers a variety of additional features to enhance their experiences, including price alerts that put money back into their pockets. Online booking now gives brands the ability to influence the rest of the guest journey from inception and to create stronger relationships with their guests.

PREPLANNING THE ACTIVITIES

Swimming with the dolphins or Jet Skiing? It’s every guest’s dilemma: Which excursion to choose? Brands are now offering a plethora of amenities and activities to exceed guest expectations. But guests still have trouble understanding what would suit them best. VR/AR applications are giving guests the ability to experience amenities and excursions prior to booking. Digital advancements have given brands the power to customize and push offerings/packages based on consumer data. Guests have full transparency on what they can expect, leading to much easier decisions on which activities to book.

CHECKING IN ONLINE

Checking in online is a must for travel and hospitality guests worldwide. Manual and inefficient processes are a thing of the past, and lengthy wait lines/times are immediately off-putting. Brands must digitally transform the check-in process to keep up with consumer expectations. Digital technologies including IoT and mobile are expediting check-in processes and providing guests additional functionalities to optimize their journey, helping them enjoy a more frictionless experience.

LEAVING HOME

It’s go time! As guests embark on their journeys, multiple stops are sometimes required. Someone traveling on a cruise may be coming from a different location than the port, requiring both a hotel and a shuttle. Brands must consider and accommodate all these variations in the guest journey as they depart from their homes. The ability to digitally manage all aspects of the leaving-home stage is essential. Pre-journey notifications and reminders are impactful and help build a strong initial connection with the guest. A seamless home-to-arrival experience is critical in properly starting off the journey

ARRIVING AT RESORT/CRUISE

In every hotel, resort, cruise liner, casino, airport terminal and restaurant, arrival is one of the most exciting parts of the guest journey. First impressions are everything at this stage, as initial interactions and experiences can set the stage for the entire vacation. Facial recognition, robotic process automation and IoT devices are allowing employees to greet guests with personalization and optimize the entire welcoming process.

GOING THROUGH SECURITY

In every resort, cruise liner, casino and airport terminal, the security stage is viewed as the most burdensome moment in the guest journey. Delays and inferior service can lead to frustration for guests, altering their consumer behavior and severely impacting the guest experience. Breakthroughs in IoT, mobile and RPA are optimizing the entire security process for guests and staff. Lengthy, manual, paper-driven processes are automated and made digital. Guests reap the benefits of reduced wait times and more attentive, efficient service from employees. Innovative offerings including facial recognition and AI are streamlining security checkpoint processes for guests and offering experiences never before available.

CHECKING IN

In every resort, cruise liner, casino and airport terminal, check-in processes have traditionally been slow, requiring multiple human interactions. Guests today are looking for ways to streamline check-in and get their trip started sooner. Digital technologies including IoT and mobile are expediting this process, promoting remote check-ins and providing guests additional functionalities to optimize their journey. Guests feel empowered and a more frictionless experience is created.

EXPLORING THE PROPERTY

Let the fun begin: It’s time to explore the property and get a feel for everything around you. With guests’ time being so valuable, it’s a priority to fast-track every aspect possible. With hotels, cruise ships, casinos and other destinations being so large, it becomes troublesome to explore the entire grounds and understand all they have to offer. Intelligent navigation and IoT assist in guiding the guest through the property while providing a personalized experience based on preferences. Interactive technologies such as augmented reality allow guests to experience and book facilities such as shopping, pools, sports, restaurants and bars as well as experience and book activities and excursions that the hotels, cruises and partners offer.

ATTENDING MUSTERING OR ORIENTATION

Safety first! On board a cruise, you will experience a mustering or safety orientation that is standard protocol for guests and staff in case of emergency. The focus is on giving back what’s most important to guests: time. The ability to reduce time spent on previously extensive processes will greatly enhance the guest experience. Digital advancements have optimized the flow of moving passengers/staff through the ship during the drill, and safety alerts and protocols are now also accessible digitally.

STARTING TO ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE

Most of the work is done. Arriving, security, check-in, safety drills — now it’s time to enjoy the vacation! Continuing a seamless and digital journey, guests take advantage of mobile, IoT and AI to enhance their experiences. These digital advancements empower guests and put them in control. Guest no longer want to carry wallets and room keys; simple wearables do the job. No more waiting endlessly for a drink; instead, through IoT, an employee will recognize you’re on low and fill you up before you even need to ask. These technologies are creating frictionless experiences for guests to exceed their expectations.

BEING A GUEST OR PASSENGER DURING TRAVEL

During travel, guests look for personalized and delightful experiences, requiring features such as digital itineraries, to help customize their daily experiences, or digital payments, to expedite purchase processes on the trip. Similarly, connectivity to the rest of the world is critical to guests in today’s digital era. Guests need the ability to communicate and share their experiences with the rest of their networks with speed and ease. Additional, digital breakthroughs are shaking up travel and hospitality. Imagine, in every hotel room and cruise cabin, voice and mobile app control of all entertainment devices, lighting, temperature control devices, curtains/blinds, room service and a virtual concierge and booking service. The interactivity of voice control and the data captured by these devices will greatly enhance the guest experience.

FINALIZING THE EXPERIENCE

That’s a wrap! As guests conclude their journey, it is important to leave them with the “cherry on top” effect. Interaction and personalization are the drivers in creating these delightful final experiences. Digital advancements in IoT, AI and analytics have led to new guest-centric features, including the ability to scan a guest’s digital itinerary and recommend last-minute activities. Or snapping pictures of guests via drone during their experience and digitally sending them as memories for guests on the last day. It is critical that in some shape or form, the guest has something to tie them back with their experience.

GETTING HOME

Arriving home from a wonderful trip can cause mixed emotions. As guests disembark, it is critical that the transition is hassle-free. Advancements in IoT and mobile applications allow guests to enjoy a seamless departure. For example, an app can instantly call for luggage, check out a guest and order a ride to the airport. Or analytics and AI can be used to track preferences guests expressed throughout the trip and save them for another trip, creating a fast and efficient customer experience the next time they book a vacation. The departure stage is also a vital time for the guest to reflect on their experience. This is an opportunity to interact with them while the experience is still fresh. Digital advancements allow us to listen to guests, gain insights and build brand loyalty.

TALKING TO FRIENDS ABOUT THEIR TRIP

An overlooked part of the guest journey: referrals and loyalty. Today, consumers are pledging less and less loyalty to brands. Rather, they care about who can create a superior and personalized experience for them. What’s better than to have guests continue to talk about their phenomenal experience even after it’s over? Social media and digital advancements in IoT, analytics and AI have given brands and consumers the ability to interact and engage on a more personal level. Picture this: Two months after a fantastic cruise, your customer is sitting down with friends to have dinner, and they receive an interactive message from a cruise line with picture memories of the last dinner they enjoyed on board. Naturally, they show all their friends, which sparks a conversation and interests more people in having the same experience. Brand loyalty has been built, the word has been spread and your customer is now the go-to travel expert in their group of friends.

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OZ Guest Journey Points of View

Influencing the guest to travel
Researching possibilities
Online booking
Preplanning the activities
Checking in online
Leaving home
Arriving at resort/cruise
Going through security
Checking in
Exploring the property
Attending mustering or orientation
Starting to enjoy the experience
Being a guest or passenger during travel
Finalizing the experience
Getting home
Talking to friends about their trip

This is the new Customer Experience.

This is CXnew

At OZ we are passionate about helping you transition from your old business model to the CXnew.

We do this through helping you Design Digital Customer Experience Services and Solutions by leveraging Design Thinking, Designed for Mobile and embedded Agile approach. You get these Digital Customer Experience Services and Solutions leveraging our Digital Building Blocks:

OZ Labs offers a creative, hands-on, exploratory environment that allows you to experiment with RPA, IoT, and Analytics and AI, all wrapped in a Design Thinking approach.

Jorge Agnese

Vice President of Consulting, Travel & Hospitality Lead

Contact me to discuss your CX plans

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