People have worried about logical thought for thousands of years—especially on the part of those with whom they disagree. Elaborate systems have been devised to help us identify flawed thinking, sometimes referred to as logical fallacies.
We would like everyone to know that RunUp Labs will be sponsoring a workshop at this year’s PhoCusWright Conference. PhoCusWright is the top travel technology conference in the industry. With over 1,000 attendees expected for the conference, this is a great opportunity for attendees to learn more about our travel technology accelerator program.
Mike Premo, ARC’s President, gave a presentation during the CTDA conference in Lake Las Vegas last week. Mike showed us how ARC has turned to the Satmetrix Net Promoter Score to measure their performance. It turns out ARC’s score is a 70 – which basically means a lot of their customers are raving fans. See more about other companies’ scores here.
Innovation in the travel industry is much more difficult than you may imagine. Not only is there a famine of genuinely innovative ideas and programs but gaining acceptance for them can be close to impossible.
There is nothing like using a Peter Allen song title from All That Jazz to do a setup for a tech review but I am a fan of obscure cultural references so this is what you get.
Yes, you must have a good product! No argument there! And a good product by itself is not enough either. Today, a superb customer service is expected along with a great product. This my friends is what I call Experience and this ladies and gentlemen, is what we should all strive for.
Smart Phones Haven't Changed Human Behavior
In an industry as diverse as travel distribution, there is rarely a shortage of controversial ideas. Recently, critical voices have been raised against IATA's “New Distribution Capability” (NDC) initiative, variously asserting that its development was closed to most outside input, that it is unfair to travel agents, technology providers, and other stakeholders. It is claimed that the NDC harms consumer interests, and that its implementation requires unacceptable privacy compromises and financial expenditures from distributors and consumers alike.
Over the past twenty-five years, I’ve been fortunate to have a front-row seat to many of the great innovations that have taken place in the travel industry during that time. From paper tickets with the red carbon ink (which always seemed to smear my nicely pressed white shirts), to ATB tickets, to the Internet and the wealth of travel-related booking sites, to one of the most talked about topics dominating the headlines today--and that is Business Intelligence.
By now you've been thoroughly exposed to the idea that mobile applications (affectionately termed “apps”) are an essential part of travel technology. There's no denying that mobile applications are popular, but understanding why and to what extent is more difficult.
However risky, making technology predictions is a popular and occasionally enlightening pastime. I've found it helpful to have a “watch list” of projects and products that might be influential or require some business strategy adjustment.
Duty of Care is the idea that Corporations are responsible for the security of their employees during travel and when engaged in activities that support the company’s interests. The European Union’s Duty of Care Act is the most prominent regulation in Europe to codify this requirement. The EU spells out how companies should behave regarding employee safety and security, but the United Kingdom took this a step further with the UK Manslaughter Act that allows companies to be held criminally liable for harm that come to their employees. The regulation applies to UK employees abroad, or the non-UK Company employees while they are in the UK to conduct business. These regulations jump-started the Duty of Care industry in Europe and North American Corporations are still playing catch-up.
Data and their application have been a travel industry fixation since ADS was discovered over 30 years ago. When it became practical to collect the specifics of what travel customers were buying, suddenly it was an essential management task. Effective competition hinged on being the best data manipulator, and travel managers were left to wonder what they should do with the piles of reports TMCs were cheerfully offering.
Talking about “the travel industry” often invites criticism that it's impossible to generalize—travel companies of any description are not identical and can't be expected to behave as one. This ignores the experience of even casual observers, who see business decisions, successes, and failures widely replicated and frequently repeated throughout the travel industry over time.
Recent popular discussions of “big data” (a surprisingly ill-defined term) are curiously silent on where these data may come from and who should decide where and how they are used. Perhaps this is because the current social media wave encourages individuals and businesses to surrender a degree of privacy (and hence control over data) in return for the promised benefits of whatever service is on offer.
Does anyone else feel that mobile phones are being billed as the next great cure all for businesses large and small? It seems that the single key to corporate riches is a sound mobile strategy. Think I am exaggerating? How many of you have seen the Geico ad with the talking pig on a plane checking his insurance policy updates on his cell phone? I recently conducted some grueling and seriously unscientific research and discovered I know absolutely no one who checks their insurance policy regularly. So how is the Geico app going to sell more auto insurance?
As any User Experience professional does, I like to talk about touchy/feely things such as experience, emotion, empathy. I'm stepping onto a soapbox to say it… I believe that the most important thing a business can do is put Design Thinking and User Experience at the top, an important job function of nearly everyone. I believe that dedicating the most resources to improving our understanding of what it means to create "an experience", finding ways to evangelize UX and more broadly, design thinking, to all leads to better products, happier customers and employees, and success for any business. Today's post is all about how you can participate in understanding experience. The methods I will describe are accessible, easily understood and attainable.
As a coffee drinker, I always wonder why I pay the same price for a take away black coffee at 10am as the sales rep nursing a coffee at a table for four during rush hour, drinking his Joe with two creams, three sugars and an extra heat protector sleeve.
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