As if the tour of Rimowa wasn’t enough to get any travel aficionado started, day two had us spend the day with both Marriott and Air Canada. On this day, we got to go “behind the scenes” and understand how they do business for travelers of all kinds – from casual travelers passing through, to regular business travelers who call a hotel home for months at a time.
Each of the presentations provided a very unique look into how travel providers operate, especially when it comes to the customer experience. Making sure that each customer has a pleasant experience, from start to finish, is paramount to the success of a trip. Travel providers understand that, and work towards creating an experience for travelers of all kinds. Here’s what I learned about how they try to achieve it:
Study the consumer for best practices
With every customer that flies the skies, or stays at a hotel, that much more information is gathered about the customer’s habits. This allows each of the providers to learn what customers prefer – and don’t prefer – during their travels. Having one bar of soap in your hotel room, or boarding by zones, are all the result of research and feedback by you: the end customer. Of course, your experience may vary. And there might be times where you need an extra bar of soap, a pillow for comfort, or an item not originally provided in service. In those cases:
It’s okay to ask for more
If you need that extra soap, feel free to call housekeeping and ask for more. Within reason, travel providers are more than willing to accommodate your requests. So if you’re in need of that sip of water while flying, or the extra pillow in your room, let the front desk or flight attendants know of your request. In some cases, they can (and want) to help you. Remember to keep your queries as requests and not demands – you’ll always be able to get farther with honey.
Creating a better experience for everyone – not just elite travelers
One of the things that became apparent in both of our sessions on day two were the need to create elite experiences for everyone who steps onto an airplane or into a hotel lobby – whether or not you have status with them. To those means, travel providers are working to make required much more simple – from the check-in process to the boarding process. New, more intuitive software is being installed into kiosks to make checking in less of an ordeal, and checking in on a mobile device or 24 hours ahead of time is also becoming more available for travelers. Of course, for those elite travelers, airlines are continuing to find ways to reward you for your status – with everything from dedicated lines, to (in some airports) entrances that lead you directly to a lounge.
My thanks to Air Canada and Marriott for the behind the scenes look at how they operate with the customer in mind. Have you had a customer service experience that has changed your outlook recently? Or have you noticed your experience getting better or worse? Let me know where you stand – and if the changes you’re seeing are making a difference – in the comments below!
(Ed. Note: No compensation nor incentive was given to mention any product or service in this blog. Travel Insurance Services and its affiliated companies do not endorse nor guarantee any product, service, or brand mentioned in this or any blog. However, we sure would love to hear about your experiences with them!)