Bon Voyage – on my way to the Canary Islands
While sitting at the airport, before departing to the Canary Islands for my vacation one thing I noticed was the abundance of iPhones and how much of daily life they have became since their launch. While browsing TripAdvisor.com to research the hotel I would be staying at, one thing became instantly clear – We need to find a way to include Hurtigruten in people’s everyday lives, even more so than ever before.
My family had planned the vacation and the only details I knew were we were flying from Gatwick to Fuertaventura, and that it would be a sunny +26 C. While waiting to depart, I began researching the hotel by visiting the website, and then visiting tripadvisor.com to hear what previous guests had thought of the hotel, and the Island itself. With an average review of 4 out of 5, I was pleasantly pleased, and then I began thinking “what if the review had a less than stellar review?”
Of course, most people review their hotel before arriving at the airport, but a nice little feature would have been to suggest similar hotels, or hotels with a better rating nearby. My step-father joked that if the hotel did not have AC, he would book us into the nearest Hilton, but a one click option to book a different hotel would be perfect in this scenario. For the first time since joining the Hurigruten project, I began to actually think like the customer, because this time, I was.
Think Like a Customer
To think like the customer in any profession is very difficult because after weeks or months, you become further and further embroiled in the project. But now that I am thinking like a customer, I can brainstorm on what features I would like to see between booking and taking off/setting sail.
- An email with the departure details, and address of harbour
- An SMS 24 hours before departing with brief overview of trip
- A link to previous travelled passengers reviews of the trip
- A link to book or change any hotel/transfer arrangements
The above is what I have experienced today, and is something that Hurtigruten are very close to implementing. All these should be available via web/iPhone so at the touch of the button, you can change most arrangements if necessary.
It’s all about making things as easy as possible for the customer. If I’m on vacation, I am out to relax and take time out from worrying. It can be very stressful to book a trip, especially with family and I want as fewer clicks as possible to make me feel comfortable.
Making things difficult
My step-father had to book a separate journey home to arrive back in work so he booked with Ryanair. It turns out they did not email him confirmation and he had to log in to his account to print out his booking confirmation. And I quote “A pain in the ass!”
Booking with ease
I’m travelling with 8 family members. Some are asleep on the plane, and some are so frightened of flying they are scared to blink but I am confident we will have a great time. My next big project for Hurtigruten is to work with family/ group bookings and as I now am thinking like a customer, I will make sure we make it as easy and as comfortable as possible. Ideas like chatting live with a groups agent for small edits/updates on your bookings, and an easy request form on the web are the first steps. Small steps are working out much more easily than giant steps…