Travel & Hospitality

Customers needs are evolving in a rapidly changing travel sector landscape.

We help organisations in the travel and hospitality sectors deliver measurable business results. We do this by putting customer first, re-defining their business and innovating through clever application of technology to solve the big challenges.

Some of our clients

Our latest thinking

Loyalty isn’t what business’ think it is

People are loyal for two reasons:

  1. They are getting something they can’t get anywhere else
  2. They trust you

Providing something that is unique is what you do … right? There’s something about you that has the edge or provides choice that’s not available elsewhere. Take TV as an example; I’ll consume TV through different (often free) channels, but I am compelled to pay a monthly subscription to Netflix, because I get exclusive content and a deeper library of films to watch… and it’s easy.

People don’t think about their relationship with you in terms of loyalty, instead “loyalty” is earned through trust that you will provide what is expected and be consistent in this. A few points / a free cup of coffee here and there will not compel people to stay with you no matter what.

If you take RyanAir, no one’s going to expect a red carpet and warmed nuts served in a silver bowl, but they do totally expect to be transported from A to B quickly and cheaply. This promise is what creates loyalty in their customers.

If what you want is the reality of loyalty - a relationship that is long term and involves multiple transactions, then you need to think about what makes a relationship work (and, spoiler… it’s not a loyalty card).

The best relationships are based on trust, and trust involves:

Empathy: really understanding your customers

  • Understand why customers come to you. Focussing your products and services on a real, human need provides a clear view of your differentiation. Continuously understanding your customers, their behaviours, situation, beliefs and priorities (and how these change), enables you to continuously improve.
  • Our work with P&O Ferries unpacked the needs and behaviours of their customer which informed the content strategy on their website. This led to a 5x increase in sales overnight when the new site was launched and gave them a roadmap of further improvements.

Consistency: being predictable

  • Blowing hot and cold leads to distrust. Laying out a clear message on what you provide, how it works and the value it brings helps people to set expectations and have confidence in their perception of what they are buying into. Generally, people have little tolerance and understanding of your technical or operational challenges (and neither should they).
  • Our work with the Trainline in solving the complexity of the masses in understanding train timetables and ticketing gave a 12% increase in conversion.

Conversation: listening, learning and acting

  • Good relationships involve dialogue. Involve customers in improving your service. From listening and acting on feedback to opening channels to support them, generates invaluable insight into how to improve and deepens bonds with customers.
  • Gaining a deeper understanding of SACO’s (The Serviced Apartment Company) customer needs led to a 20% increase in online enquiries, from redesigning their call-to-actions.

Openness: be transparent

  • People get extremely annoyed if they cannot make an informed decision. If people get a whiff of being stung, they’re gone.
  • You may not be all things to all people and that’s ok. Lay out why you’re charging what you are, what’s missing and why. This hands back control to people.
  • For the Cooperative Bank, We helped them rediscover what it meant to be an ethical bank online, and helped them to build trust with their customers. That led to a 90% increase in credit card applications, 3x increase in key page visits and a +5.9pt NPS increase.

And guess what, these principles do not just apply to customers, but to people within your organisation. You can apply these to how you communicate and work to engender employee loyalty and a healthy business.

Think about your top 3 brands.

  • What is it they give you that no one else does quite as good?
  • What is it that makes you trust them?
  • How would you feel if they went disappeared tomorrow?

Sarah Roberts is an Experience Strategy Director who leads the cxpartners London office. Sarah works with clients in the UK and in Europe to bring a customer focus to service and product design.

Sarah Roberts

Find out how we can help you

Contact Sarah Roberts, Experience Strategy Director:

sarah.roberts@cxpartners.co.uk