Every second, someone somewhere books a trip online, either for work or leisure. To do so, consumers will probably google the destination to get some information, buy a plane ticket, find accommodation and maybe also rent a car. Once back, that same person might end up posting some ratings or reviews. Each of these online transactions generates new transactional data, which is keenly kept by the companies, as it provides valuable information on customers’ behavior.
These hundreds of terabytes of data are driving the evolution of the travel industry. Indeed, state-of-the-art technologies, such as AI and machine learning, allow companies to extract, analyze, and use this vast chunk of data to get better insights and, eventually, competitive advantage.
The resulting competitive advantage is particularly critical today, as consumers' behavior has evolved a lot. People tend to have higher than ever expectations concerning the way they interact with brands and firms. They expect more personalized experiences and want the information they need to be easily accessible.
The travel industry has been mainly influenced by the evolution of modern consumers. Travellers' decisions, especially when made by millennials, are more and more impulsive. In just two years, in the US, travel-related searches for "today" and "tonight" on mobile devices have increased by 150%.
What is customer requests' data: gaining competitive advantage from changes in customer behavior
As a result of the evolution in consumer behavior, online travel companies now have to focus their efforts on anticipating the customers' needs and being able to offer their services at the right time, right place, and to the right target. Reacting to changes in customer behavior is the key to competitive advantage.
Successful businesses are using big data to achieve that. However, not all data is relevant or worth processing, so businesses must first identify where to focus their efforts. 70% of travel companies currently struggle with the amount and quality of data they have access to. Only 30% gather third-party data, and just 15% use free text data. As a result, more than 40% of customers' requests end up getting lost due to lack of handling them. A deeper understanding of this customer requests’ data would have a profound impact on the revenue of travel companies.
Requests’ data allows companies to identify patterns in consumer behavior, which can be used to make better predictions about a customers’ needs and preferences, thus enabling a more unique and personalized type of offer. In a nutshell, requests’ data allows companies to improve their customer experience, pinpoint logical and content errors and detect new sales opportunities.
Collecting, analyzing, and using requests’ data requires companies to equip themselves with the appropriate tools for predictive analytics. The Datumize Data Collector (DDC), which is a non-intrusive software developed explicitly for collecting data from uncommon sources you do not normally think of, like requests’ data. This kind of tool empowers travel operators to be proactive concerning their customers' wants and needs and to tailor their offers accordingly, something companies cannot afford to ignore, or they will put their survival at risk.