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The Journey Behind the Journey: Customer Journey Mapping in Travel

Planning a trip is often a mix of anticipation, excitement, and occasionally frustration. Companies looking to remove friction and pain points during a customer’s interactions with them during the travel process can turn to customer journey mapping. I recently became CX-PRO certified and one of the classes’ activities centered around multiple teams each creating a journey map for taking a trip, starting from researching vacation locations to boarding the plane. The similarities in the planning process were striking; however, it was clear to see how disparate each part of the process was, in addition to the added complication of what persona was traveling—business traveler, friends weekend participant, family vacation, etc. And this did not even consider the technologies that were potentially “touched” during this planning process. I recently traveled to my preferred airport and mapped out just that slice of my planning process—transport and arrival at the airport for a personal trip with a child.

Source: Dash Research

There is nothing too dramatic in this mini process within a larger journey, but it does demonstrate the many touchpoints along the way during a seemingly simple activity. Multiple CX technologies were in play, mainly digital channels, such as websites, apps, and push notifications, but reputation management also was tapped into when looking at review sites, as well as social media. There were areas of friction (parking lot website), but also areas of unexpected ease (changing a flight in 5 minutes with no charge). By employing CX technology, such as journey mapping, some pain points could have been identified and potentially eliminated for myself, as well as future customers. Traveling during the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be stressful, and customer journey mapping will be a critical tool for travel-related companies to employ as travelers seek to smooth out their CX.

Author Information

As a detail-oriented researcher, Sherril is expert at discovering, gathering and compiling industry and market data to create clear, actionable market and competitive intelligence. With deep experience in market analysis and segmentation she is a consummate collaborator with strong communication skills adept at supporting and forming relationships with cross-functional teams in all levels of organizations.

She brings more than 20 years of experience in technology research and marketing; prior to her current role, she was a Research Analyst at Omdia, authoring market and ecosystem reports on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and User Interface technologies. Sherril was previously Manager of Market Research at Intrado Life and Safety, providing competitive analysis and intelligence, business development support, and analyst relations.

Sherril holds a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from University of Colorado, Boulder and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Rutgers University.

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