Chapter 9 - Goodfellow Publishers

Chapter 9
The impact of technology
on customer service
© Hudson & Hudson. Customer Service for Hospitality & Tourism
Topics Covered
o Technological developments and communication
o Technology and the consumer decision journey
o Online tourism marketing
o Service and the consumer decision journey
o Advantages and disadvantages of electronic
distribution of services
‘At Your Service’ Spotlight:
Virgin Atlantic Airways
Virgin Atlantic is about fun, energy, pioneering, and a love of flying.
We try to live our brand when communicating with customers
o Social media enhances engagement with consumers
• Brand reinforcement tool
• Customer relationship management
• Develop trust, loyalty and preference
o Advertising conversation-centric not campaign-centric
o VAA social media
• Resolve customer issue
• Dependable service delivery, via instant updates
• Changing needs and service improvements
o Customer led conversations
• Information, stories, advice, insights
• Market relevancy
The impact of technological
developments on communication
o Rapidly changing communications environment
Dominated by digital technology
Social networks supplanting brand networks
Ethical considerations
o Consumers increasingly in control
More access to information
More ‘promiscuous’ in brand relationships
How and when advertising is received
o Post-purchase consumers behavior
Customer review
o Tourism marketers
Internet growth in populous, developing nations
Annual online sales increasing
Touch points have changed
The traditional purchase funnel
Table 9.1
The consumer decision journey today
Stage 2: Evaluate
Consumers add or subtract
brands as they evaluate what
they want
Active evaluation: info
gathering, shopping
Stage 1: Consider
Top-of-mind consideration set
from recent touch point
Stage 3: Buy
Consumer selects a brand at
The Loyalty Loop
Post-purchase experience:
Ongoing exposure
Stage 4: Enjoy, advocate, and bond
After purchasing, consumer builds
expectation based on experience to
help the next decision journey
Figure 9.2 (Source: Adapted from Court et al. 2009)
The consumer decision journey
o ‘Zero Moment of Truth’ (ZMOT)
o Consideration stage
• Social media campaigns to drive traffic to websites
o Evaluation stage
• Product-comparison sites increasing influential
• Digital ambassadors
• Incentives e.g. free vacations
• Virtual tours and virtual worlds
o Buy stage
• Point of purchase
o Enjoy, advocate, and bond
• After purchase brand connection
• Crowd sourcing and brand innovation
• Consumer complaints
Service Snapshot:
Barbados leveraging social media
Healthy Mind, Body, Program
o Augmented reality and interactive TV
o Active social media strategy
• BFC Facebook page patient community
o Fertility application for iPhone and iPad
• Information video with interactive buttons
• Ovulation calendar
• Medication alerts, push notifications, lifestyle tips, Medical glossary
o Palm tree ‘QR code’
• Relaxing, health lifestyle, location
o Flat graph of success rates
o ‘Pay per click’ sponsored words
Online tourism marketing
o Success factors
• Attracting users
• Engaging users’ interest and participation
• Retaining and repeat users
• Learning about user preferences
• Customized interactions
e-Servicescape, website trust
and purchase intentions
Aesthetic Appeal
* Visual Appeal
* Originality of Design
* Entertainment Value
Layout & Functionality
* Usability
* Interactivity
* Customization
* Relevance of Information
e of
Trust in
Financial Security
* Ease of Payment
* Perceived Security
Figure 9.3 (Source: Adapted from Harris and Goode, 2010)
Advantages and disadvantages
of electronic distribution of services
Consistent delivery for
standardized services
Low cost
Customer convenience
Wide distribution
Customer choice and ability to
Privacy and ethical issues
Inability to customize with highly
standardized services
Security concerns
Competition from widening
Price competition
Potential for building customer
Loss of control over the consumer
evaluation process
Keeping abreast of changes in
Vast amounts of consumer data
Ability to data mine
Quick customer feedback
Table 9.1 (Source: Adapted from Harris and Goode, 2010)
Case Study:
Vail Resorts apps and customer experience
Capturing memories on mountain and being able to share with friends
and family is particularly important on a ski vacation.
o Smart card technology
Ski lift pass doubles as resort credit cards
Multiple ski hills, resorts
o EpicMix ski app
Log runs, lifts taken
Vertical mileage
Pins for achievements
o EpicMix account
Personal and professional photos
Trail map
GPS hook up with friends and family
o Social media
Encourages story sharing

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