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Jul 7, 2023

Had a “Real” Good Time: Why Real Time is Important for Delivering Magical Moments in Travel & Hospitality

You check in at the airline kiosk, and as your boarding pass prints out you receive an SMS from the airline notifying you that because of a long delay, you’re eligible for a seat upgrade on your next trip. You’ve booked an all-inclusive vacation through a travel company, and as the trip approaches you are continually apprised of itinerary changes, weather forecasts and updated recommendations, all impeccably timed and optimized according to your departure date.

Welcome to real-time interaction management (RTIM) in travel and hospitality, an imperative for travel brands to demonstrate the type of personal understanding that drives retention, lifetime value and revenue. Thinking of your own travel experiences, what stands out as truly memorable apart from the “bucket list” sights and sounds? Do you have fond memories of being treated like everyone else, or are the truly superlative experiences those in which a brand provides a consistent experience across every engagement touchpoint, inbound or outbound, that is completely relevant to your individual customer journey?

If a positive customer experience resonates, you’re not alone. In a PwC survey, 73 percent of travelers said that customer experience is the most important factor in purchasing decisions – and 17 percent said they will leave a travel brand after one bad experience. A 2022 Dynata survey, commissioned by Redpoint, shows plenty of room for improvement, with just 27 percent of consumers stating that travel companies are effective at delivering personalized, consistent and seamless experiences pre-trip, during travel and post-trip.

Real Time Interactions and the Golden Record

Crafting a consistent, omnichannel customer experience using real time requires both real-time data as well as the ability to orchestrate real-time decisions in the moment of engagement based on the real-time data.

A real-time decision optimized for an omnichannel journey will optimize the experience not just for the channel of engagement, but within the context of a holistic journey with the brand. A customer who visits the website, as an example, might see a different image, offer or content based on the customer’s behavior that preceded the visit. There may be entirely different reasons for a call center interaction or a log-in on the loyalty app preceding the website visit, and a real-time decisioning engine that renders a decision knowing the latest context will provide a relevant experience. A real-time decision in the context and cadence of a customer journey avoids introducing common CX frustrations. A car rental agency might confuse/annoy a customer if it emails drop-off instructions to a customer who has just spoken with an agent to extend a rental, as one example.

Real-time decisions that create magical moments for a customer rely on having real-time data from every conceivable source and type of customer data – batch, streaming, first-party, third-party, behavioral, transactional, demographic, preference data, etc.

A real-time, single view of a customer, or Golden Record, combines all customer data to form a holistic, unified record of a customer and the customer’s engagement with a brand across every touchpoint. With all attributes, all aggregations, a full identity graph and full contact history all processed and updated in real-time, a Golden Record allows marketers and business users to profitably differentiate one customer from another.

A persistently updated Golden Record provides a real-time, single view of a customer across the entire organization. Available and accessible to marketers and business users, it breaks down the data and process siloes that introduce customer experience frictions. An email marketing team, for example, can segment a campaign audience based on everything there is to know about a customer up to the moment a campaign is executed. The campaign is not centered around channel metrics, but rather around the customer, i.e. a customer is in the segment only because it’s what the data dictates according to the real-time individual journey, not because the customer is on a static list.

Transform Travel Experiences with Redpoint

Speed and agility, data-driven personalization through a Golden Record and cross-channel optimization are the cornerstones of orchestrating and delivering real-time interactions.

Redpoint is a fully integrated CDP that provides customers with a single point of operational control over data, decisions and real-time interactions to execute the personalized experiences that customers expect.

Redpoint connects all disparate sources of customer data and continuously applies data quality processes the moment data is ingested. Marketers and business users can trust that the resulting Golden Record is an accurate and precise representation of a customer (or household) that provides a real-time, contextual understanding of the customer’s journey progression with your brand.

Data-driven travel and hospitality brands are using Redpoint to transform customer experience, increasing engagement, retention and lifetime value by delivering contextually relevant experiences in real time across an omnichannel journey. For more on how Redpoint is helping travel and hospitality brands compete on CX and turn relevance into revenue, click here.