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Customer experience mapping

How to understand your customers to improve your product and turn a profit.

In today’s digital world, where one-way mass marketing communication is simply not cutting it, customer-centricity, personalisation and customer experience are key to the success of your business.

First, understand your audience, second, create a better product/service, third, turn that into a profit

Focusing exclusively on the who i.e. segmenting your customers using primarily demographic data such as gender, age, occupation etc does not suffice anymore. Assumptions on individual customers’ interests, wants, needs or values based solely on who they are, or their market segment’ are hardly ever accurate. Instead, successful companies today focus more on what customers do to understand their business. Customer behaviour data and analytics can drive customer acquisition, retention and growth.

Illustration of the customer behaviour data that exists between a customer and business from websites and social media such as Twitter and Facebook

There is really no end to the insights you can get from customer behaviour data. A starting point might be looking at customers’ lifetime journey, how you acquire them, where they are coming from, what they have bought in the past, what they are doing when they are engaging with you, how long are they staying and how they reviewed your business. Analysing customer behaviour can help you to gauge every segment’s potential business impact and tailor appropriate engagement strategies for each group.

For example: A hotel might use data at various points of the customer journey. Booking window and length of stay are two important data points hotels can look at to target their messages better. Similarly, looking at how much domestic and international visitors are spending, relative to the current foreign exchange situation, can help focus your efforts on one group or another.

Hotels can also show visitors to their website interesting events which are happening to increase the chances of a booking, therefore improving conversion. If a hotel is aware of events happening in the future, they are also able to increase their prices accordingly, therefore improving yield management and profitability. Above this, if they know that someone is interested in craft beer festivals, they can use this information to target such customers with tailored marketing communications such as “here’s a list of craft beer festivals coming up and here’s a great discounted room rate to go alongside it so why don’t you come and visit”. This way, events data can showcase the rich cultural breath that a city or region has to attract visitors in a global marketplace.

© Edinburgh Napier University
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Understanding Data in the Tourism Industry

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