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3 focus points for increasing bookings with travel experience analytics.

June 7, 2022 By: Tim Bruns

Booking travel is a journey in itself, whether it be on mobile, web, or a combination of both. 

 

Like packing your suitcase the night before your vacation, the process involves making a series of exciting, yet mildly stressful decisions in rapid succession, such as whether to add trip insurance or an extra check-in bag. You want to be confident your choices will hold up when you’ve arrived at your destination—that applies to both your travel plans and your swimsuit options. 

 

Making the booking experience seamless.

The secret is that the booking (and the packing) doesn’t have to feel like work.

 

So what’s most important to travelers in digital these days? 

  • Flexibility. Location and date flexibility are paramount, with an easy search experience to filter and compare results. Customers want to be able to cancel flights or change travel plans on a whim without having to call the contact center, if possible.
  • Clear Covid-19 messaging. Clear, concise messaging on local policies and regulations is a must, especially when traveling abroad. Some airlines even allow passengers to upload proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative test to the airline portal. 
  • Smooth mobile experiences. Seamless check-ins, boardings, and last-minute changes on mobile apps can help your customers to feel confident they can get the answers they need.

 

Sounds easy enough, right?

 

Delivering on these features throughout the customer journey can feel like leading an orchestra. If one section fails to deliver in unison, it can sour the entire customer experience.

 

Like a good conductor, the best experience analytics solutions can help travel companies play the best set based on the reactions or signals from the audience. They can help define and measure the customer experience, which gives digital teams control in how to address them and change course, all in real time. 

 

Focus #1 – Offering flexibility with clear search results.

Search is generally where everyone starts their expedition. Whether it’s searching for the best beach resorts or the perfect arrival time, most customers start their travel booking journey by searching. Sometimes plans are flexible and so a robust list of search results can really wow the customer. But just as often, customers have specific needs in mind and are looking for results that match their search exactly.

 

If the exact desired dates, locations, or preferences are not available, don’t close the door. This is an opportunity to offer suggestions and alternatives. Whether customers are searching for flights, lodging, car rentals, or cruises, digital teams can gracefully design the forks in the road for your customers to choose from. 

 

Start by suggesting locations that are close in proximity to their desired departure or arrival destination. Then, offer up less flexible substitutes, like different dates, or departure/arrival times. Just don’t let your users hit a dead end.

 

But to even understand a baseline impact of your null search results, be sure your analytics tools are capturing what the search criteria combinations are, and model what the dropoff is when customers hit your current “No Results” messaging. 

 

Trend analysis dashboard for zero search results.
Review zero search results analysis in Quantum Metric.

How a Quantum Metric customer made the change.

Believe or not, making a small change in communication can yield massive results. 

 

One Quantum Metric airline customer was able to recapture several million dollars in daily revenue by making a change to their dead end search results page.


It started when the airline’s digital team used Quantum Metric to find that when customers hit a dead end search, they would exhibit frustration in the form of rage clicking and manually refreshing the page. Many turned to the contact center to validate that what they were seeing was in fact true – a high cost for the airline to swallow for a resolution well within grasp. In making the change to offer more options, this segment of frustrated customers decreased dramatically. Because it happened for such a high volume of customers with buying intent, removing this hurdle translated into millions of dollars in additional revenue.

 

Focus #2 – Clear, concise messaging on Covid-19 protocols.

In our current pandemic environment, policies and regulations can change daily, causing travelers to become hyper-sensitive. Now many of them forecast the “worst case scenario” as part of the basic planning for their trip. This can be a major booking barrier. 

 

Travelers want to know the most up-to-date local regulations at their destination and how they’ll be able to get home, should the worst happen. Understanding where users struggle when looking for information and relevant materials during booking is the first step in removing roadblocks.

 

How Quantum Metric helps identify conversion-blocking issues.

Here is a story from another industry that has takeaways that are relevant for travel brands as well: A large, enterprise travel service used Quantum Metric to discover that 70% of customers dropped out of a booking flow when asked for their driver’s license number.

 

By using Quantum Metric’s Journeys to identify sessions of those who dropped off at this step, the team came up with a hypothesis: customers failed to understand why they needed to provide this information at this step, which was validated in viewing session replays. To alleviate this, the team ran an A/B test to provide clear messaging to the customer as to why the driver’s license number was required, and how their information would be protected. The result was a 50% increase in continuation from that step for those that saw the new messaging.

 

If vaccination, testing information, or a photo of your passport is required, make it clear why this is the case. Don’t leave it up to passengers to do the research elsewhere.

 

If your competitor is providing the right information and guidance, chances are the customers will go where the information is.

 

Identify areas of drop-off in journey paths and drill in with one click.

 

Analyze segments with context and quickly pivot to relevant session replays.

Focus #3 – Tracking micro-conversions on mobile applications.

Most travel sites offer native iOS and Android applications as key digital touchpoints to engage with customers.

 

While booking is certainly the main revenue driver and often completed on desktop, many travelers rely on their mobile devices to accomplish small, but meaningful tasks during trips, such as checking into a flight or hotel, making date changes, or resetting a password in order to login. 

 

When these tasks go smoothly, it allows the traveler to get back to enjoying their trip. When these things go poorly, however, it creates a doomsday scenario for the traveler and your employees, who must help to resolve these issues in a time-sensitive manner. Understanding the rate of success for micro-conversions, like check-ins, can be just as important as booking rates to indicate the overall satisfaction of your app users.

 

How Quantum Metric helps improve the native app experience.

A top airline uses Quantum Metric to monitor their flight boarding application, which is used by agents on iPad devices at the gate. They measure boardings as “micro-conversions” to understand where failure points can occur. 

 

In their first week of using Quantum Metric, the team was able to identify and resolve a technical bug preventing successful boardings that had been reported by agents for months. The Product Manager even noted to us afterwards, “Building the app is one thing…making sure that the app can handle the operation without negatively affecting the operations or employee and guest satisfaction is a different thing.”

 

Track micro-conversions across page engagement touchpoints.

 

Quantum Metric enables travel brands with customer-centric data.

The booking journey is ever-evolving as we adapt to changing traveler needs and environmental constraints. The good news is that there are solutions to make the process seamless for not only the customer but also the team behind the journey.

 

If you’re interested in learning more, check out how airlines like Korean Air and United Airlines leverage Quantum Metric to improve contact center workflows, mobile applications, and the overall booking experiences.

 

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