In earlier posts, I wrote about the travelers’ tribe and about designing for the frequent traveler. I have collected hotel screw-ups and talked about how loyalty in travel is messed up. On the other hand, I have written about my favorite hotels, travel experiences, destinations and even highlighted Kimpton’s acts of hospitality. It triggered the question what I’m looking for in a travel company. So, well, I guess some of the following things.
Table of Contents
Getting the basics straight
Many travel products and services are developed from the ivory tower or isolated silo of a company. Some things are just friggin’ brilliant.
Treat me as a human
Customer service sending me the same auto-reply again for the gazillionth time. Not doing anything on my birthday. All missed opportunities to treat me as a human.
One of the things I would like to see is companies helping me even if I’m not staying. E.g. having access to an airport lounge even if I’m not flying that airline that day. Having access to a hotel pool when I’m in the neighbourhood (like with the Indigo in Madrid), even though I’m not staying.
Many interactions in travel are scripted, so you’ll instantly feel when a staff member is genuine. The time when I had a dirty hotel room at QO Amsterdam and duty manager Thijs took it hyper personal to make sure my new room was clean as well as my next stay. The genuinely nice chats I have had during the years with staff, including Indigo Antwerp‘s Ben.
Take me seriously
If I got a penny for every time I got a standard email reply and/or had to ask for a supervisor to have a look at my case …
From time to time, I’d like to be surprised. A small thing you remembered about me, a small gift.
Think with me
After having a bad experience the stay before, I once got a suite upgrade and a bottle of champagne. Which is super nice and awesome and all, but the chance that I’m going to down a full bottle of champagne on Sunday evening is pretty close to zero. So really cool and really nice, but it just doesn’t make sense.
Let me test stuff, ask me for ideas or feedback.
I love the relationship I have built over the years with the NS International team (the international branche of the Dutch Railways). Whenever I find bugs, need a feature or find something standing out in the journey, I can send an email to the team and tend to get a reply within 48hours with an explanation and follow-up actions.
I guess the red thread is building a genuine relationship. Too many travel companies build a transactional relationship rather than an emotional relationship.
What are you looking for in a travel company?