Hotel-rooms-to-order-modular-units-for-customer-service
Aravind Ramachandran

Hotel rooms to order: Modular units for customized service

​ What does a traveler need in his/her hotel room? That's a hopelessly vague question! The answer necessarily depends on the objective of the trip – personal, business or social – as well as how much of the trip is to be spent in the hotel room, and several other factors. And when a hospitality services provider doesn't know what a customer needs, what can be done to ensure customer delight? How can inventory be managed effectively? One, we try to figure it out from historic behavior. That brings us to predictive data analytics, which happens to be a pet favorite approach of mine to many real ...
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Instant-feedback-challenge-and-opportunity_COVER
Aravind Ramachandran

Instant social feedback: Opportunity and challenge in customer service

Once upon a time, there was a fictional hotel CEO who had three big worries: Even happy customers rated the hotels in her chain as "average" or "good", but never "Excellent " or "Outstanding" no matter how hard they tried While she knew overall satisfaction levels, she had no visibility into what specific areas of the chain's services pleased the customer and what did not Unhappy customers would very often go ballistic on social media and ruin the reputation of her hotel chain  T hat 'time' is right now, and that CEO could represent a large number of people in the industry who seek t...
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Smart-bags-and-tags-are-they-smart-enough-COVER
Aravind Ramachandran

Smart bags and tags: Are they smart enough?

Anyone who has lost a bag on a flight will tell you it starts off as a terrible inconvenience and often ends up as a costly experience. Airline companies typically apply the same scale of compensation for a bag irrespective of the nature and monetary or sentimental value of its contents. Claims are made based on the weight of what was lost, and comes with a large number of conditions attached to decide eligibility. In other words, it doesn't really make a difference to an airline company what was in the lost baggage, just like it doesn't matter to a passenger how exactly his/her bag was lost. ...
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How-safe-are-travelers-at-their-dream-destination_COVER
Aravind Ramachandran

How safe are travelers in their dream destination?

​ A typical traveler may look for specific experiences while planning a vacation, probably based on how different it is compared to what they are used to in daily life. Clearly, the focus is typically on "what will I get to see/do?" or "how much fun can I have?" as opposed to a more solemn question of "how safe will I be?" What does risk mean? ​ The concept of risk tends to appear in a very narrow context in the travel industry's conversations with customers – a risk of flights being delayed, connections being missed, hotel reservations not being confirmed, a promised ancillary being withdrawn...
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Trading-data-for-convenience-and--other-inclinations-COVER
Aravind Ramachandran

Trading data for convenience and other inclinations of today’s airline passenger

​ "We know, because we asked" - IATA For the past half a decade, IATA (for whom IBS is a strategic partner) has been exploring what's on the mind of airline passengers around the world, in a bid to find out what they love, what they hate and what they want in the future. Yours truly did his bit this year, spending a quarter of an hour answering questions and even speculating a little bit – you can do so too at www.iata.org/paxsurvey until next month. But my main objective today is not promoting the survey; instead it is to use their results to quickly examine how passengers are at present, inc...
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