Test travel and hospitality experiences with real testers

As travel and hospitality – one of the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic – gradually recovers, how organizations manage customer expectations, pent-up demand and the resulting customer journeys will be more critical. than ever. Staffing shortages, rising fuel costs and other critical factors are putting increased pressure on service providers and requiring increased focus on frictionless digital and in-person experiences.

With the growing need for efficient technologies comes ever-increasing customer expectations that come with higher fees for the services requested. Astute travel and hospitality organizations understand that when prices rise, there is also a simultaneous opportunity to add value, whether in the digital or physical world.

The state of digital quality for travel and hospitality

We just released a new report, State of Digital Quality for Travel and Hospitality 2022. We cover common bugs we found in our global work with businesses from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021. We illustrate the impacts these bugs can have in the travel and hospitality industry, and how software development and testing teams need to consider their own digital quality – and how that affects their customers. You can check out our infographic for a quick overview of the key points. As it is essential to test your customers’ most common devices and configurations, I present a summary of what constitutes our report in this regard:

Device Setups


Mobile brands


Mobile models


Mobile operating systems


Mobile OS Versions


Mobile web browsers


Mobile operators


Desktop web browsers


Desktop OS


Desktop OS Versions


In this blog:

  • I give a recent example of a bad experience in my customer journey, and

  • some insights into the travel and hospitality industry customer journey from our new report

A travel-related purchase gone wrong: How real-world testers would have told the difference

I recently finished buying a rental house for a long weekend for this coming fall to meet some friends. With previous experience, I learned that the insurance our group purchased through the online home rental service had a difficult to meet Covid reimbursement requirement of asking your doctor to see you for a home test on video or in person. With doctors under enormous pressure due to the pandemic, we had been unable to meet this requirement and learned the hard way to read the fine print of travel insurance.

For this upcoming trip, I called my insurance company to explore options and was referred to a third party partner insurer. Despite numerous attempts, I was unable to reach the company by phone to get answers to a few specific questions about coverage when canceling a trip due to Covid. In the end, I had to use their website to investigate the policy. The web experience was very poor.

As may be the case with insurance policies (but there shouldn’t be), there was an overwhelming amount of detail on the types of cancellations eligible for reimbursement – but strangely – nothing specifically on cancellation due to covid. Hard to believe these days. Eventually I found a “cancel for any reason” section, which although it didn’t mention Covid, allowed a buyer to cancel for any reason.

I thought about how much better my customer journey could have been if I had trusted the rental site’s insurance or if this recommended insurance company had tested their website with real users. It got me thinking about what we do every day at Applause with our customers around the world. Although insurance generally falls under the financial sector, travel agencies need to consider who they partner with and how their partners treat their customers. Travelers consider the ecosystem travel and hospitality businesses, and if something goes wrong, it’s guilt by association. In my case, the online rental service did not offer an insurance product suited to what I needed. My insurance company outsourced the service to a partner, and that partner had a confusing website and product. In summary: I won’t be going back anytime soon.

3 Considerations for the Customer Journey in Travel and Hospitality

Across industries, the lines between online and offline experiences are blurring, and every interaction shapes a customer’s perception of your brand. Digital quality is part of the equation; to deliver exceptional experiences, great digital must be accompanied by high-quality physical interactions. Here are three insights from our report that we learned from working with our global travel and hospitality clients:

Test to ensure a frictionless customer experience

As travel and hospitality experiences almost always mix digital and physical elements, it is imperative that operators thoroughly test the entire customer journey. Ensure easy-to-use digital customer engagement that sets clear expectations. Beyond the ability to arrange travel or place orders online, customers want to know whether they can check in for flights and hotels or pick up rental cars through an app. Once at their destination, travelers want to immerse themselves in local attractions: historical monuments, museums, parks, beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, restaurants, shops, cafes, etc. Can customers easily find where they need to go? Do the amenities match the online booking and description? Is touchless/contactless room access working as intended? Testers should carefully consider the finer points of this whole process.

Make travelers feel valued and as safe as possible

As third-party booking services have grown in popularity over time, their convenience of aggregation poses the question of single point of contact for issues arising during travel. What happens if a flight is cancelled, a hotel reservation is not checked in at the destination hotel, or some other unforeseen problem arises? Even when travelers have a central point of contact, do you know if the app or website they need will work with their mobile phone where they are? Has the app been tested at popular tourist attractions around the world for mobile coverage? Has it been tested by local users in the native language and various dialects? Is it culturally sensitive? It’s essential that travelers know they have a safety net, and thoroughly testing your apps around the world on various networks and under specific conditions with local users creates the sense of trust that travelers need.

Solicit feedback beyond your employees and reward members

Addressing an aspect of insecurity on the minds of travel customers, Applause is currently working with a major global airline provider to ensure Short Message Service (SMS) works worldwide with its travellers. This eliminates the hassle of emergency correspondence during the trip and also serves as a feedback mechanism for travel-related travel related issues. However, if the airline wants feedback on customer touchpoints with its brand when tickets are purchased through a third-party travel service, it should consider using a crowdsourced testing model, where real-world testers assess the customer journey provided through the third party. party travel service. This, in addition to soliciting feedback from existing customers enrolled in a loyalty program and employees, will provide a 360 degree view of the customer journey and illuminate areas that need attention.

Check out our report, State of Digital Quality for Travel and Hospitality 2022, for more insight into digital quality in the travel and hospitality space.

You can use our report to see how your brand compares and identify ways to improve your digital quality, regardless of your business maturity level. Your organization may consider:

  • How you perform the comprehensive testing needed to deliver satisfying digital customer experiences

  • Whether you have a mix of test automation, manual functional testing, structured test cases, and exploratory testing that provides the most value for your business and your customers

  • Where you can create more inclusive experiences that appeal to the widest possible audience as new legislation prioritizes accessibility and an inclusive experience for all

  • How you foster a culture of quality that delivers massive benefits

Want to see more?

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