The use of digital is now ubiquitous for almost all consumers and all businesses. Most consumers have an online presence and businesses are beginning to offer more content at a steadily increasing rate; but with most businesses housing an extensive back-catalogue of content and producing more day-by-day, it can be hard to convey a personal touch.
In the modern age, the first contact a consumer will have with a business is very often online, via either a website or uploaded piece of content. It is therefore very important that businesses focus as much energy into ensuring consumers receive a personalised online experience as they would if these consumers were entering a physical store or conversing with a member of staff directly.
A digital experience needs to resonate with customers in the same way as a hotel concierge is able to form a bond with guests, or a travel agent can build a rapport with potential travellers. And when it comes to the travel and tourism industry, consumers expect a highly-tailored experience reflective of their own tastes and needs. Businesses in these sectors therefore need to embrace digital and the personal touch in order to stand out from the competition and reap the business benefits. Here's how:
Recognise the audience
Firstly, as with all content marketing, those in charge need to recognise and understand the target audience. Content specialists need to know the ages of their audience, demographics, how they are accessing the content, what engages them... there are a whole host of considerations to take into account. By recognising specific audience insights and incorporating them into the creation of online content, it automatically becomes more personal.
It's also important to recognise returning customers. Just as a concierge or travel agent will know who their clients are, businesses need to have technology in place capable of knowing if an individual has visited before and sending a 'welcome back' response. This shows an appreciation for guest loyalty and an added level of personalisation.
Don't scrimp on first impressions
When it comes to first impressions in a non-digital setting, certain considerations are common sense: ensuring staff are friendly and welcoming; being considerate of the customer's needs; listening to what they are saying; and following up any requests speedily. In the online space, first impressions are based on very different things: usability; an easily navigated interface; and quality visuals all combine to form a first impression of an online site.
It's best to invest in creating a digital presence that makes customers want to explore further. In order to make it personal, businesses could seek to include a chat feature, allowing visitors to discuss with a real member of staff in the online space to ensure all their individual needs are being met and direct them to the most relevant content for them.
Build on the convenience factor
One of the key reasons behind the shift to digital is how convenient it is for consumers. Not only can they browse destinations and potential accommodation online, but they can receive boarding passes, book taxis and check-in online – it's imperative to therefore offer features that make the digital experience more convenient for customers.
To make it more personal, ask them what kind of features they'd like to see included in the future so that they have control over their own digital experience.