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Human experience: At the heart of learning, living, connecting, and business loyalty

The shifting landscape of consumer trends in travel and hospitality

As organizations make progress on delivering better customer experience, workforce experience, and partnership experience, leaders are turning to human experience (HX) to bring a stronger focus on people in all areas of these key business relationships.

Human experience innovation

Experience matters. It has always mattered. It matters most for travel and hospitality companies because experiences are core to their business-what they deliver is immersive, and it shapes how their customers view the world they live in and the places that make it special.

The Deloitte 2019 Travel, Hospitality and Services survey of 5,898 people across the hotel, airline, dining, rideshare, and rental car industries shows that experience allows companies to differentiate themselves and earn customer loyalty. Overall experience factors, such as valuing feedback, being recognized and personally addressed, and aligning to brand values, amongst others, are 2.4 times more important than price across travel and hospitality overall. Moreover, companies that focus on the human experience are 2x as likely to outperform peers in revenue growth over a three-year period.

Differentiation in an experience-driven economy isn’t about isolated silos of an organization. It’s about elevating the experience: the sum of the moments that matter—the interactions between a customer and an organization that shape the way each one feels about the other.

Human Experience in Transportation, Hospitality & Services Industries

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Responding to changing consumer trends

Emphasizing human experience in the customer experience ecosystem

According to data from Deloitte Digital’s Exploring the Value of Emotion-Driven Engagement study, 62 percent of customers feel they have a relationship with a brand and 58 percent of customers say a brand is their favorite for emotional reasons.

Organizations can—and should—respond to this trend with human experience innovation, the integration and delivery of customer experience, workforce experience, and partnership experience.

The Business Roundtable, a lobbying group comprising 200+ of the most prominent US CEOs, recently issued a statement revising “the purpose of a corporation,” to go beyond just shareholders and encompass investment in other stakeholders, such as customers, employees, suppliers, and communities. These leaders are reshaping the world around us as they put HX at the forefront of company values.

Putting the human in customer experience is the battleground for differentiation

Digital innovation is no longer a distinguishing factor, as companies must find new ways to win, and keep, customers though human experience innovation.

Overall experience factors—such as valuing feedback, being recognized and personally addressed, and aligning to brand values—are 2.4 times more important than price across travel and hospitality overall. And it doesn’t stop there:

  • This finding jumps to 2.8 times more important for hotel guests.
  • Experience factors are 2.6 times more important than price for Millennials across travel and hospitality overall, and 3.2 times for hotels.
  • 84 percent of what is important to customers are factors unrelated to price.

Human experience innovation involves more than just customers.

Customer awareness versus satisfaction

When considering their most recent stay, 69 percent of hotel customers reported being aware of a company’s commitment to social responsibility, but only 46 percent of those consumers were very satisfied with that commitment.

Consumers are increasingly “tuning in” to high-velocity, social sharing platforms to learn about company values and make informed purchasing decisions. This insight is compounded by the fact that the touchpoints a brand doesn’t control are even more important to consumers, because travelers trust their “friends” more than they trust purchased messaging: 

  • Eighty-one percent of consumers rely on personal recommendations to research and plan travel experiences.
  • In hotels and airlines, more than 75 percent of consumers agree that hearing something negative about a company’s commitment to social responsibility and adherence to purpose influences their perceptions and behavior.

Treating every customer as a person and an individual yields big results.

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