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Flying High on Predictive Analytics

Posted by Amy Maret

Thu, Jul 27, 2017

pexels-photo-297755_resized-1.jpgBuying a plane ticket can be a gamble. Right now, it might be a good price, but who’s to say it won’t drop in a day—a week? Not only that, it may be cheaper to take that Sunday night flight instead of Monday morning. And oh—should you fly into Long Beach or LAX? As a frequent traveler (for leisure and work!) and deal seeker, I face dilemmas like these a lot.

The good news is that there are loads of apps and websites to help passengers make informed travel decisions. But how? How can an app—say, Hopper—know exactly when a ticket price will hit its lowest point? Is it magic? Is there a psychic in the backroom predicting airline prices with her crystal ball?

Not quite.

While it seems like magic (especially when you do land that great deal), forecasting flight prices all comes down to predictive analytics—identifying patterns and trends in a vast amount of data. And for the travel industry in particular, there’s incredible opportunity to use data in this way. So, let’s put away the crystal ball (it won’t fit in your carry on) and look at how travel companies and data scientists are using the tremendous amount of travel data to make predictions like when airfare will hit its lowest point.

In order to predict what will happen in the future (in this case, how airfare may rise and fall), you need a lot of data on past behaviors. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), there are nearly 24,000 commercial flights carrying over two million passengers around the world every day. And for every single one of those travelers, there’s a record of when they purchased their ticket, how much they paid, what airline they’re flying, where they’re flying to/from, and when they’re traveling. That’s a ton of data to work with!

As a researcher, I get excited about the endless potential for how that amount of historical data can be used. And I’m not the only one. Companies like Kayak, Hopper, Skyscanner, and Hipmunk are finding ways to harness travel data to empower consumers to make informed travel decisions. To quote Hopper’s website: their data scientists have compiled data on trillions of flight prices over the years to help them make “insightful predictions that consistently perform with 95% accuracy”.

 While the details of Hopper are intentionally vague, we can assume that their team is using data mining and predictive analytics techniques to identify patterns in flights prices. Then, based on what they’ve learned from these patterns, they build algorithms that let customers know when the best time to purchase a ticket is—whether they should buy now or wait as prices continue to drop leading up to their travel date. They may not even realize it, but in a way those customers are making data-driven decisions, just like the ones we help our clients make every day.

As a Market Researcher, I’m all about leveraging data to make people’s lives easier. The travel industry’s use of predictive modeling is mutually beneficial—consumers find great deals while airlines enjoy steady sales. My inner globetrotter is constantly looking for ways to travel more often and more affordably, so as I continue to discover new tools that utilize the power of data analytics to find me the best deals, I’m realizing I might need some more vacation days to fit it all in!

So the next time you’re stressed out about booking your next vacation, just remember: sit back, relax, and enjoy the analytics.

Amy M. is a Project Manager at CMB who will continue to channel her inner predictive analyst to plan her next adventure.

Topics: big data, travel and hospitality research, predictive analytics

Is Uber Living Its Brand Promise?

Posted by Tara Lasker

Thu, Apr 21, 2016

The Uber experience continues to fascinate me with each ride. I pepper my drivers with questions about Uber’s business model, their experience as a driver, and how satisfied they are driving for the sometimes controversial ride-share company. It’s a topic I also bring up around friends, family, and colleagues, and I always come back to the same question: where does Uber win and lose in the minds of end-customers?

I took a look at Uber’s brand promises to see if those promises aligned with my own experiences (as well as the experiences of other people I’ve talked to.) Below, you’ll find Uber’s promises to riders:

uber-2.png

  • Tap a button, get a ride. It’s so nice to be able to request a ride from Uber with one tap and have a clear expectation of when my driver will be there and what my ride will cost. I appreciate having my driver’s information as well as the license plate number on hand.

Verdict? Uber delivers in a big way on this promise. 

  • No cash, no tip, no hassle. Until recently, I thought this was true, and I loved Uber for it. I appreciated that everything was linked to my account and that I didn’t need to fumble around my wallet in a dark car at the end of my ride. I asked a driver about this a little while ago, and I was surprised to learn that not only are tips not included in the fare, but Uber has also begun taking a higher percentage from each ride. I researched this after I got home and saw that the driver was right: tips are not included. The more I researched, the more I realized that I was not the only one who had this misconception.

Verdict? Uber says there’s no need to tip, but it’s not explicitly stated that tips aren’t included in the ride cost at all. There’s a lot of confusion surrounding this issue. Since I now know that tips aren’t included, I plan on tipping my driver out of pocket, which reintroduces the problem of fumbling around in my wallet at the end of a ride. This is an issue that could make me to switch to a competitor (perhaps Lyft, which allows you to tip in the app). In my opinion, Uber owes its drivers (aka “partners”) and its customers clarification on why “there’s no need for a tip.” 

  • You rate, we listen. This might just be my personal misconception, but given that it seems that anyone can drive for Uber, safety is a concern. This steers me in the direction of cabs when I’m alone because I perceive them to be better regulated. However, if I’m with my husband or friends, I’m much more apt to take an Uber for the value. I have colleagues who consider Uber as (if not more safe) than a cab since all rides are tracked via GPS and riders have the driver’s picture and information as well as the vehicle’s information at their fingertips. Every week, it feels like there’s a new story about an assault on an Uber rider or driver, which can make taking an Uber feel like riding at your own risk. So, what about the rating? Does it help? Just like an eBay seller, do positive evaluations help communicate safety?

Verdict? I’m mixed. I’m still not convinced that Uber is any more or less safe than its alternatives. However, as a data nerd, I do appreciate having data on my driver when I request a ride.

Uber filled a much needed void when it launched in 2009. But as the company continues to grow, the promises it makes to customers don’t always ring true. The fix? Implementing a customer measurement system, which will ensure that the company delivers on these brand promises and doesn’t steer off the road of success. 

Tara is a Research Director at CMB. She enjoys nights out in the city with her husband and grilling her Uber driver on the way home.

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Topics: travel and hospitality research, brand health and positioning, customer experience and loyalty

What's the Emotional Impact of Your Ancillary Revenue Strategy?

Posted by Judy Melanson

Tue, Oct 13, 2015

The CarTrawler Yearbook of Ancillary Revenue reports that airlines generated $38 Billion in ancillary revenue in 2014, up 20% year over year. The report highlights the brands generating the most ancillary revenue–in terms of total revenue generated ($5.86 billion for United Airlines), the percent of revenue it represents (38.7% of Spirit Airline’s revenue) and discloses top revenue sources (e.g., frequent flier miles sold to partners, fees for checked bags, and commissions from car rentals).

Clearly, ancillary revenue is not confined solely to airlines; theme parks, cruises, car rentals, hotels all boost revenues from selling additional products, services and measure.jpgmerchandise. And it’s easy to see why. In addition to driving incremental revenue, ancillary products and services enable a supplier to (1) offer a competitive base price - essential (particularly in some segments like cruising) to enter into a traveler’s consideration set; and (2) meet the needs of their guests by merchandising – and conveniently delivering – what customers crave and where they’re willing to spend extra.

But there are potential costs as well. A quick read of the Cruise Critic blog points to ‘high-pressure’ sales tactics employed by ship employees and the negative impact it has on the guest experience. Eavesdrop on airline rent-a-car counters and you’ll hear the ‘fear, uncertainty and doubt’ in the voice of infrequent car renters. And hop onto a Spirit airlines to get an earful of complaints (“$3 for a water bottle?!”). Suppliers—particularly in the Hospitality industry—need to think about their brand position and why their customers buy from them as they consider the revenue and cost of this incremental revenue stream.

Our recommendation: to develop a customer-centric ancillary revenue strategy you need to consider the ‘emotional impact’ it will have on your key customer segments and the emotional fingerprint your brand wants to leave on its customers. Is your brand in the business of making key customers feel delighted? Secure? Valued? If so, the Ancillary Revenue offers should avoid making customers feel angry and frustrated! First step is to identify the top emotional drivers of your brand and investigate whether the Ancillary Revenue products are aligned; consider whether the revenue strategy reinforces, or conflicts with, the desired emotional end-benefit. Watch our recent webinar to learn about our approach: EMPACT℠: Measuring Your Brand's Emotional Impact

There are plenty of positive examples of ancillary revenue opportunities aligned with the desired emotional impact. Here are a few:

Disney: There is no FastPass on rides for younger kids at Disney – and the wait time can easily surpass the patience of kids… and their parents. On a recent trip to Disneyworld, a colleague spent over $100 buying buzzing, spinning, bubble-blowing toys from push-carts surrounding the rides. The toys kept her son happy and occupied. She felt delighted; turning waiting in line into a fun instead of a frustrating experience.

Disney mastery in this area is evident. It successfully offers many products and services that drive ancillary revenue that reinforce the desired emotional outcomes – during and after the trip: the MemoryMaker photo package, the pins/guest books/signatures and stamped pennies, the character breakfasts.

Tigerair, serving Asia-Pacific destinations, offers a fee-based service to travelers waiting for a flight connection of at least eight hours where they can visit the city-center and go sightseeing. As a traveler, I’d feel productive, happy and secure (knowing that I’d be back in time for my flight!)

Hilton Worldwide: When traveling, for business and pleasure, most travelers describe Wi-Fi as an essential service. For years, most major full service hotel brands provided access for a daily fee. Slowly, but surely, major brands like Hilton Worldwide have moved to a position of providing basic access to all loyalty program members. Doing so removes a highly charged negative emotion and reinforces a feeling of ‘being valued.’ Ancillary revenue will be created through sales of the premium internet service with the negative emotional blowback of ‘nickel and diming’ for a basic requirement.

The key take-away: The quest for ancillary revenue will only heat up. Ensure your strategy aligns with – and supports – the reasons customers buy from you and the emotional benefit they’re looking to achieve.

Learn More About EMPACT℠

Topics: travel and hospitality research, EMPACT, emotional measurement, customer experience and loyalty

Harry Potter and the Missing Segment

Posted by Kirsten Clark

Thu, Sep 03, 2015

harry potter, segmentation, branding, slytherinGryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin? Brave, loyal, wise, or ambitious. . .which one are you?

For those of you unfamiliar with the Harry Potter series, these are the 4 houses that make up Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. When each young witch and wizard enters the school, a magical hat sorts them into one of four houses. Each house values certain attributes. Gryffindors value bravery and daring. Hufflepuffs value kindness and loyalty. Ravenclaws value knowledge and intelligence. Slytherins value ambition and cunning. The three main characters are Gryffindors (Harry, Ron, and Hermione), and most of the series’ villains come from one house in particular: Slytherin. Based on the rigorous questionnaire I completed on the Pottermore, I discovered I, too, am a Slytherin.

This past summer, I went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, FL to immerse myself in the whimsy and magic of J.K. Rowling's world. Let me start by saying that if you’re a Harry Potter fan, the theme park is definitely worth a visit. The attention to detail is incredible. However, I have a bone to pick. I went to this theme park eager and willing to spend money on paraphernalia that would let me proudly represent my house. . .but I couldn’t find a single shirt that I liked. I went into every shop multiple times and was astounded (and disappointed) at the lack of Slytherin branded items. Gryffindors, on the other hand, had an expansive array of shirts, blankets, and cardigans to choose from.

Let my disappointment serve as a perfect example of why segmentation is so important. Without a useful segmentation, you can miss out on extremely valuable customers. It’s also essential in learning how to market to different groups of target customers with different needs.

As is the case with many brands, it’s possible Hogwarts’ houses aren’t just separated by character values, but also by consumer values and shopping habits. Maybe Slytherins are more price sensitive (though the Malfoys would demonstrate otherwise) or perhaps they don’t like to advertise that they’re cunning individuals (because that would make it a bit harder to be cunning). It’s also possible that Slytherins only make up a very small percentage of Harry Potter fans (we are special, after all), which would justify the lack of money and space Universal spent on Slytherin merchandise. Of course, it’s also possible that the opposite of all of this is true. . .but it’s more than the Sorting Hat will be able to tell you.

I did end up buying a patch with my house crest, and I let J.K. Rowling know that it’s time for Slytherins to get the respect we deserve. She has yet to respond.

Kirsten Clark is a Marketing Associate at CMB. Even though she’s a Slytherin, she closely identifies with Hermione Granger. In fact, in true Hermione fashion, she was once limited to asking only one question per day in elementary school.

The Sorting Hat might not be able to help you with segmentation, but we can. 

Learn About Our Approach to Segmentation

Topics: travel and hospitality research, customer experience and loyalty, market strategy and segmentation

Could Wearables Mean the End of Jet Lag?

Posted by Amy Maret

Thu, Apr 30, 2015

emotional measurement, emotions, travelWhat if you could hop off a seven hour flight from New York to London feeling refreshed and entirely jet lag-free? That’s the question British Airways has been trying to answer for years. From enhanced entertainment and meal offerings to carefully-designed lighting and noise reduction measures, many of the recent updates to British Airways’ fleet have been centered on creating the perfect customer experience in a notoriously tricky industry.Their latest innovation is “The Happiness Blanket.” The blanket is embedded with LEDs and connected via Bluetooth to a headband containing sensors that read electrical fluctuations in the wearer’s neurons. According to the promotional video released by the airline, if brain activity indicates that the wearer is calm and relaxed, the surface of the blanket turns blue. If the wearer is stressed or anxious, the blanket turns red.

As a researcher, this opportunity for seemingly effortless, real-time data collection piqued my interest immediately. I see a lot of potential in the ability to capture passengers’ emotional responses to various aspects of the flight experience as they actually experience it. If they had access to accurate emotional response information, flight attendants could find ways to tailor services to accommodate the needs of passengers on an individual level, and data collected across countless flights could provide useful information about what the airline is doing right overall and where they need to improve. With a bit of additional demographic and psychographic information on each passenger, the airline could create marketing campaigns and promotions around the specific experiences and emotional reactions of different subgroups.

At CMB, we know just how much emotions matter. We repeatedly find that the emotional impression left on a customer after an interaction with a brand is a major driver of customer satisfaction, likelihood to recommend, and even future purchase intent across all types of industries. British Airways, by focusing on helping passengers step off its planes feeling satisfied, is creating a subconscious connection between its passengers’ positive emotions and its brand. You can bet that the next time I need to book a flight, I would first look to the airline that got me to Europe feeling refreshed and relaxed, rather than the one that left me dehydrated and drowsy.

However, The Happiness Blanket certainly has its drawbacks as a research tool. Based on the information provided about the blanket so far, it seems that there is no way to tell—on a more detailed level—what emotions the passengers are experiencing, which would have serious consequences. The blanket supposedly turns red when the wearer is anxious or stressed and blue when he/she is calm or relaxed, but there are so many more emotions on the spectrum that are not acknowledged by this system. For example, if two people’s blankets show red, one may be because a passenger is feeling unsafe and afraid on the flight, while the other may be because a passenger is enjoying the adrenaline rush of watching an action movie. If you were to ask those two passengers how they felt after their flights, and whether they would choose to fly with the airline again, you would get two drastically different answers. If British Airways intends to use this data to make real, impactful changes to its service, they will need to find a way to capture nuances like this or they could misinterpret the data entirely and make poor business decisions as a result.

This example provides a basic illustration of why we find that self-reporting is the most accurate way to collect data on something as subjective as emotion. While biometric solutions can sometimes provide a basic emotional read, self-reporting provides a more dependable, and much less expensive, way to get at the discrete emotion being experienced. The only way for the flight attendant to tell the difference between two red blankets would be to ask the passengers how they are feeling. Only then could they properly tailor the service to each person’s experience.

When I told my colleagues about The Happiness Blanket, they kept asking the same questions: how long can the novelty of the blanket sustain its use? Couldn’t it be a bit awkward to have your emotions broadcast to the entire cabin, especially in a situation as sensitive for many people as flying? Maybe it would make more sense to get rid of the blanket aspect entirely and just send the data directly to a computer. That way, the flight attendants could still monitor the data for in-flight use, and it could still be captured for future analysis, but passengers wouldn’t be disturbed by the constant color changes on their (or fellow passengers’) blankets. However, getting passengers to agree to have their brainwaves monitored by an airline could prove a challenge, and with the inaccuracies of this method of data collection, it may not even be worth the investment. Although the idea of being able to read passengers’ emotions directly appeals to me as a researcher, self-reporting is still the only way to capture reliable data on the subjective emotions of customers.

So, is The Happiness Blanket just a clever publicity stunt designed to promote recent enhancements to British Airways’ First and Business Class cabins, or is it a sign of true dedication to research and customer feedback? So far, it seems like the company has primarily been using The Happiness Blanket to attract attention, get consumers engaged with the brand, and show why the company thinks its flights are better than its competitors’ flights. If British Airways is truly trying to capture useable information on their passengers’ reactions to its service through The Happiness Blanket. . .they’ll also need to ask them.

Amy is Senior Associate Researcher at CMB and an avid traveler. She is a bit disappointed that she won’t have the chance to try out the Happiness Blanket on her next trip to Europe.

Understanding the emotional payoffs consumers want and expect is critical to helping brands build and maintain a loyal customer base. Watch our recent webinar to hear Dr. Erica Carranza and Brant Cruz share how we capture these emotional payoffs to inform a range of business challenges, including marketing, customer experience, customer loyalty, and product development.

Watch Here!  

Topics: travel and hospitality research, emotional measurement, customer experience and loyalty

CMB Researcher in Residence: A Chat with Avis Budget Group's Eric Smuda

Posted by Judy Melanson

Thu, Apr 16, 2015

researchers in residence, avis budget group, eric smudaAvis Budget Group’s VP of Customer Insights and Experience, Eric Smuda, sat down with CMB’s Judy Melanson to talk about Customer Experience, suppliers, and his work as a corporate insights executive.

Eric, it’s always fun to listen and learn from you. I’d like to start by asking a broad question: why is managing the customer experience important for Avis?

Managing the experience is critical for us—and critical for the car rental industry as a whole—because it’s the only way we can differentiate ourselves. The products we offer are identical to the products our competitors offer. We don’t have a location advantage because our competitors are immediately next door. There aren’t no-show fees, so customers are free to choose any company. It’s solely customer experience that differentiates us from our competitors and that drives growth.

Tell me a little bit about your job.

My role is to identify customer pain points and to design improvements in our customer experience. My team gathers and shares customer experience measurement data and marries that data with our operational, reservation, and financial data to really understand what, why, when, and where something is happening. This helps ABG define improvement priorities and get executive sponsorship, funding, and resources for those priorities.

How does your team interact with your end-users—both corporate and on-site?  

We want to drive macro change at a corporate level and location-specific change at a local level. One of our newer initiatives is the customer experience governance council, which includes all of North America’s senior management as well as key customer touchpoint owners.

My analytics team shares their findings with the council on a monthly basis. That way, the council can prioritize the projects we want to invest in. We then align executive sponsors, resources, and funding with those initiatives. This monthly meeting also gives us the opportunity to report back on progress made on previous initiatives.  We’ll share those insights with the marketing organization and communicate any changes we make with the customer base.

As you reflect back on the years that you’ve been at Avis, what are some of the changes you’ve made that have had the greatest impact on the customer experience?

One change that stands out is in rental rate price consistency (RRPC). We learned that when customers made reservations on our website, the site wasn’t accurately taking the daily rate, combining it with any add-ons he/she might have (insurance, car seats, GPS, XM radio, etc.), and then correctly calculating the taxes. So customers weren’t getting an accurate final bill. Now they do with the RRPC project, and we’ve seen a significant decrease in our pricing and billing complaints.

Price and cost are such important considerations in the purchase decision because they can be dissatisfiers, so that’s great.

Absolutely. We now know from our text analytics program that billing complaints are the biggest driver of negative Net Promoter Scores. The RRPC project has been one way we’re reducing those pain points and the number of calls going into our call center, and it’s had a large impact for our customers.

Another thing I’d like to mention is the rollout of the Select & Go experience to our top 50 locations. Some customers want to have the option of selecting another car if they don’t like the one we assign to them. This program was born out of that customer feedback. Customers can now receive a notification on their phone about which spot their assigned car is in, come see the car, and either take the assigned car or go to the Select & Go exchange lot where they can exchange the car for free. We also have an upgrade lot where they can decide whether they’re willing to pay $20 or $25 more to upgrade to another car class. This has been a customer experience improvement, and it’s also actually driven $3 million to $4 million in incremental revenue for the company.

That’s fantastic!

It’s a win for customers and a win for ABG. Another thing we know is that speed of service is of the utmost importance. We get more comments about speed of service in our text analytics engine than we do about anything else, so we’ve been taking a look at the entire rental process. We looked at over 100,000 customer verbatims and broke them down based on where they sit in the rental process or in the customer experience. We identified 20 projects we can complete to impact the customer speed of service at different stages of the rental experience. About half of those projects are active now, and customers should definitely look for significant upgrades over the next year or two in our ability to serve them more quickly.

I love that you’re addressing the customer needs more globally. You’re not making a touchpoint-by-touchpoint improvement, but rather an improvement about the customer’s need for speed across his/her entire engagement and experience.

I think that's the biggest philosophical change we've made over the last couple years as it relates to our customer experience program. Rather than looking at it as location-specific and driving change at the individual level, we’re now evaluating customer experience much more comprehensively. We look at macro issues at a division level that impact customers everywhere, and we start to fund and drive change in those identified areas.

What’s going to be different in customer experience at Avis in the next two years?

We’re working on a flight disruption service, which is relevant given the winter we’ve had in the Northeast. This service proactively reaches out to customers whose flights have been canceled and asks them whether they’d like to keep the car another day, turn it into a one-way rental and just drive home, and more. We want customers to know we can get them home or wherever they need to be.

Great! Let’s move a little bit more into research, tell me: what insights get you most excited?

Our program is constantly evolving as we bring in new brands and continue to evaluate our business. CMB was with us at the beginning of this journey, and you guys know that our customer experience program started with roughly 150 to 200 of our top airports.

We’ve also expanded it globally through our partners EMEA and Asia Pacific. The bigger growth challenge for us from a learning standpoint is adding the relationship view of the customer to the evaluations of the transactions they have with us. That will let us know not only how we did in Phoenix yesterday, but also how we’re doing across all of the interactions customers have with our various brands. So all of this growth we’re making in our customer experience measurement program is absolutely something I’m excited about.

As far as things that excite me, it’s really when we can dive down and understand specific customer pain points that affect specific types of customers in specific types of situations. For example, we know customer satisfaction is lower for certain types of trips vs. others, so when we can start to dig and combine that knowledge with other information like pricing strategies, billing strategies, and other policies, you start to understand why. Then, we can begin to have conversations with business decision makers and explain to them what things are getting in the way of the customer experience so they can reconsider and change those practices and policies. My passion is always trying to make things easier and better for customers, so what’s most exciting for me is the possibility of accomplishing that through those conversations.

You’re the customer advocate. There might be pricing or revenue objectives, but you can speak for groups of customers, which needs to be done in order to build engagement with the brand.

That’s always the big challenge: trying to balance customer needs against revenue and profit goals.

What would you tell market research vendors about how they can best support the decisions you need to make?

What an age old question! I feel like the supplier side has always struggled with understanding our business at a level at which they can help us drive business decisions and not just simply provide information. We want suppliers to provide context, combine the findings and the context with our financial drivers, and use all of that to help us make a more informed business decision. That’s a true partnership. That’s where I’ve had the most challenges with suppliers in the past. It’s also why I value working with your CMB team.

Can you talk a little bit about your relationship and partnership with CMB?

You understand our business as well as our management’s priorities. We have a great, trusted relationship—your guidance, partnership, and advice have been wonderful. You’ve transcended from being a vendor to being a very key advisor and trusted partner.

Got a market research question that you're just dying to have answered? Ask our Chief Methodologist, and he might tackle your question in his next blog!

Ask Dr. Jay!

Topics: travel and hospitality research, Researchers in Residence, customer experience and loyalty

Guest Post: New Research Highlights Hotel Booking Path to Purchase

Posted by Carly Schott

Tue, Sep 02, 2014

Originally posted in Loyalty360's Loyalty Management magazine

CMB Consumer Pulse, Path to Purchase, Hotel BookingFor a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is the number of available sources to connect with consumers.With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information. When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

Check out our infographic here

For more on our mobile stitching methodology, please see CMB's Chris Neal's webinar with Research Now: watch the webinar

 

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

For a consumer looking to book a stay at a hotel, the good news is that the available sources to research and purchase are immense.

For a marketer looking to attract consumers to stay at a certain hotel, the challenge is that the available sources to connect with consumers is immense.

With this in mind, market research and consulting firm Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) recently conducted a study that illuminated the new hotel booking path to purchase – confirming that yes, a wide variety of channels and factors influence the consumer’s hotel decision for leisure travel. Adding to the complexity of this situation, these various sources are used very differently at different stages of the purchase journey.

“There’s no shortage of information available to travelers as they plan and book hotels for their vacations,” says Judy Melanson, SVP of CMB’s Travel and Hospitality practice. “We know their path involves multiple sites and sources of information. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align their marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.”

The results, based on responses from over 2,000 consumers, show that mobile devices in particular are leveraged only at specific points in the decision-making process. Over 60% of consumers used a mobile device during their purchase journey, and almost half (49%) utilized these devices during the research and evaluation phase. But, when it came time to actually book the hotel, only 6% opted to use a mobile device to do so. Instead, booking online using a desktop or laptop was the method of choice for 68% of those surveyed.

And while online resources in general were popular, mobile applications were used infrequently throughout the journey – in total, only 6% of consumers used them at all, whether for social media or other online sites. Additionally, peer reviews greatly influenced decision-making, but these recommendations were sought through specific channels. Social media was utilized only 13% of the time, while consumer reviews were consulted more often at 59% of the time in total.

Finally, the research shows that customers want the best deal, as almost half took the time to compare room rates on sites like Expedia, Priceline, or Kayak. 36 percent of those who used one or more of these sites ultimately booked their stay with them.

According to Melanson, while the first challenge for marketers is navigating the large amount of sources of information, another challenge is taking a good look at the people who are utilizing this information.  When marketers understand who is going where for what information, this can help them understand which consumers they are losing to different sites in the purchase journey.

“Think about it from both the customer and device perspective,” Melanson says. “What is the customer trying to do at this stage in the journey, and is your content aligned with this?”

To download the entire report and view additional findings, click here.

- See more at: http://loyalty360.org/loyalty-management/september-2014-online-issue/new-research-highlights-steps-of-the-new-hotel-booking-path-to-purchase#sthash.DdWs5kej.dpuf

Topics: technology research, mobile, path to purchase, travel and hospitality research, Consumer Pulse, customer journey

New Consumer Pulse: Mobile Users Upending Hotel Path to Purchase

Posted by Judy Melanson

Tue, Aug 26, 2014

Our latest Consumer Pulse report—a study of 2,000 leisure travelers—found that mobile, social, and online factors influence travelers very differently at separate stages of the hotel booking purchase journey.

We know travelers have a ton of information at their fingertips as they plan and book hotels for their vacations. The challenge for hotels is to decide how to align marketing budgets to best intercept potential travelers—delivering desired content on the appropriate device and through the right channels and partners.

For more information on how technology is changing the path to purchase download the full report here and see an infographic with a few of the findings below:

The New Hotel Booking Path to Purchase

Download the full report.

For more on our mobile stitching methodology, please see CMB's Chris Neal's webinar with Research Now: Watch the Webinar

Judy Melanson is the head of CMB's Travel and Hospitality Practice. She just returned from a very leisurely trip to South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Stephanie Kimball is CMB's Senior Marketing Manager and created the infographic above. She can't wait for her upcoming trip to London, Amsterdam, Munich, and Prague!

Topics: technology research, infographic, mobile, path to purchase, travel and hospitality research, Consumer Pulse, customer journey

For the Love of Disney: A Look into the Power of Loyalty

Posted by Alyse Dunn

Wed, Jul 23, 2014

loyalty, Chadwick Martin Bailey, DisneyHow many times have you done your favorite thing? It doesn’t matter what your favorite thing may be, or if your favorite thing varies by season. Just think of the number. Does it seem lower than you would expect? Does it seem higher? Or, does it feel just right?Have you ever been to Walt Disney World 50 times? I have. And I continue to go every year. Why? That’s an excellent question and even though, at this point, I have a fairly automated response to that very question, people still don’t seem to understand.

Let me start by addressing the most typical questions I am asked:

  • Don’t you ever go anywhere else? Sometimes, but why would I want to? Ever since I was little, Disney has been (and continues to be) where we have our family vacation every single year. I have expanded my travel as an adult, but the Disney allure still pulls my whole family back annually.
  • Don’t you get sick of going? Not at all. When you’ve been as many times as I have, you get to see Disney through a new lens. There is less of a focus on getting everything in and more of a focus on taking it all in.
  • And the pièce de résistance: Aren’t you too old for Disney? This is my favorite question to answer—not just because I am much younger than most people would assume given my record. I love this question because I get to respond in a way that would garner Disney’s approval—you are never too old for Disney World.  In youth, I was drawn by the enchantment. In adulthood, I’m now just drawn by that feeling I get each time I step through those gates.

I may be able to sing “A Whole New World” without musical accompaniment and relay unnecessarily detailed quips about every ride in the park, but I don’t find that juvenile. I find that—for lack of a better word—magical.

All of my trips to Disney have done a lot for me, but at the end of the day, there is far more to this than just ample travel—and that’s loyalty. I am 100% loyal to Disney. I own their dinnerware, clothing, and toys. I name my pets after their characters. I see all of their movies and know almost everything about them, and I still can’t sleep the night before a trip.  

What makes someone loyal? Lots of things can sprout loyalty, but not all loyalty is equal. In fact, there are a few different kinds of loyalty that a person can experience, including:

  • Captive Loyalty. In colloquial terms, “I will stay with you because it’s too difficult to change.” How frequently do you change your bank or cable provider? Not often, right? That’s because changing providers can be more trouble than it’s worth. That’s not to say that some people don’t love their bank, but maybe that love is a little more conditional.
  • Uninvolved Loyalty. How much thought have you put in to your car insurance provider since purchasing the car? (Bueller?) Maybe that’s because the automated processes that are in place for paying this type and other types of insurance (mortgage) have made you consider it less. Loyal? Yes. Actively loyal? Maybe not so much. It may be part of the reason why companies are encouraging automatic withdrawals for payments.
  • Distribution Loyalty. What is your absolute favorite beer? Is it easily/readily available? If you answered “yes,” it could be that part of your choice is based on distribution—the fact that you can easily get what you want, when you want it. Why are some brands so successful? Perhaps it’s because they have the market bandwidth.
  • Heritage Loyalty. Did your parents always use the same detergent when you were a child? Do you use that same one in your own home today? Sometimes loyalty happens based on what we grow up with. Think back to some of the everyday products you choose. Does your family use them as well? There you go.
  • Loyal Loyalty (aka True Loyalty). The following are elements of true loyalty: you think of the brand first, you believe the brand is the best at what they do, you believe any new line extension they introduce will be a winner and is definitely worth trying, and you have an emotional attachment to the brand. This is the kind of loyalty brands are looking for—the kind I have for Disney.

Loyalty plays into all of the daily choices we make like which brand of soap, chips, or shoes to buy. We find something that works, and we stick with it. Loyalty is often hard to shake. How many times have one of “your brands” upset you, and yet you’ve still given them another chance?

The question that market research should strive to answer is: what can drive this loyalty? As researchers, we need to help companies deepen emotional attachment and better understand their loyal customer base and develop products and services that suit their needs.

Alyse is a Senior Research Associate on the financial/retail practice and still travels to Disney with her family at least once a year. Through her multiple excursions, she has discovered EPCOT is more fun the older you get.

WEBINAR: Concept Optimization Tools for Introducing a Suite of Products: This webinar will provide insights into the tools that can be used from early screening of features to a ready to launch optimization and demand estimation of the final offer.

Watch Now!

Topics: travel and hospitality research, customer experience and loyalty, digital media and entertainment research

Do you Uber? Taking a Ride with the Future of Customer Experience

Posted by Dana Vaille

Wed, Jul 16, 2014

CMB, Uber, Customer ExperienceIf you live in a city, you probably know about the current battle between Uber car services (and others) vs. taxi companies. Maybe you’ve seen stories in the news or actually found yourself in the middle of a taxi driver protest yourself—like the one that happened just outside our offices in Boston, where cab drivers protested by honking their horns for a solid two hours. The gist of the story is this: taxis are highly regulated forms of public transportation. Depending on local laws, they may have permits to pay for, extra insurance to carry, etc. Then along comes a private, unregulated, service like Uber that is (mostly) offering cheaper fares and taking business away from the taxi drivers.  The taxi drivers are understandably frustrated that companies like Uber don’t (for now) have to follow the same guidelines, pay the same fees, etc. I can certainly empathize with the taxis on that front, and I don’t want to under-emphasize the importance of their perspective here. That said, for the purposes of this blog I will focus only on the customer’s perspective…and the potential differences in the customer experience. 

I have taken taxis for years and also recently tried a ride with Uber. Thinking about the taxi vs. Uber experience, excluding the fares, here’s my take:

Pick-up

  • Uber: The company makes it easy to request pickup, regardless of where you are

  • Traditional Taxi: I either need to see a taxi and flag it down, or have a taxi company phone number on hand and be able to identify my exact location—not always easy in an unfamiliar city 

Safety

  • Uber: The app tells me the driver’s name and what he/she looks like, so I know who is picking me up (I can also share that information with my family/friends for safety reasons)

  • Traditional Taxi: I wouldn’t be able to identify the taxi driver until I’m already in the car

Payment

  • Uber: Payment is charged to the credit card on file—it doesn’t get more convenient

  • Traditional Taxi: Taxis require that I either have cash on hand, or pull out my credit card and wait for it to be processed

As a customer, I can easily understand the appeal of a service like Uber.  Even if the fares were the same, or I had to pay a little extra, I might still choose Uber just for the convenience.  As a researcher, I see an opportunity for taxi companies to evaluate the customer experience to find out what they can do better. It’s time for taxi companies to start asking customers…why do you Uber?

Dana is a Research Director at CMB. She loves traveling and exploring new areas, but is admittedly bad with directions. She is uber-excited about the availability of car services like Uber, where she no longer needs to be responsible for providing directions.

WEBINAR: Concept Optimization Tools for Introducing a Suite of Products: This webinar will provide insights into the tools that can be used from early screening of features to a ready to launch optimization and demand estimation of the final offer.

 

 

 

Watch Now!

 

 

 

 

 

Topics: travel and hospitality research, customer experience and loyalty