Over the past few years, augmented reality has grown to become a major part of our world. We use virtual reality to enhance collaboration, and augmented reality to connect with customers. Mixed reality solutions even pave the way for the promise of teleportation.
When the pandemic changed the way countless companies operated, the XR even emerged as a solution to change the way we travel. For travel companies, XR promises the opportunity to reconnect with customers, help them make better purchasing decisions, and provide better overall experiences.
The question is, how do you build a business case for XR travel that gets the support and buying of all your stakeholders and leaders? The following steps may help.
Step 1: Consider Customer Needs
One of the easiest ways to build a sustainable business case for a new technology in today’s CX-focused landscape, is to highlight how the right innovation can help you better serve your customers. Confidence in travel companies has been lower than ever since the pandemic, and customer relationships have declined as a result of limited options for expeditions.
With XR, travel companies can overcome some of the barriers that cause customer experience issues. For example, AR apps can help your customers book, prepare, and travel more effectively. KLM’s AR app helps customers check their luggage fits in the baggage compartments on their planes before they start traveling to the airport.
VR and MR apps can give customers an idea of what a travel experience can be, by giving them the opportunity to explore by plane or boat. The right solutions can be implemented as in-flight entertainment, as a way to reduce anxiety and nervousness before a flight.
When exploring new destinations, XR solutions can also help travel companies offer a more consistent level of service. AR apps can help customers find their way to locations and get instant translation for street signs. Beacon technology can give users access to unique information and guidance when they attend a particular attraction. The options are endless.
Step 2: Find Ways to Support Sales and Marketing
When making a business case for a new technology like XR travel, it is important to deliver potential “ROI” (Return on Investment). One of the main ways that XR solutions enhance returns, is by increasing the number of would-be customers that you can convert.
Consumers today are clearly worried about spending their hard-earned money on travel opportunities, in an uncertain environment. One way to make them more excited about a potential experience, is to allow them to taste the destination or tour before they visit the location. VR is a fantastic tool for this purpose. This can help travel companies assist customers in choosing the right destinations, or planning their itinerary for a trip.
Both tools can provide tours around hotels, and give users an idea of what they can expect if they sign up for some particular event, such as a helicopter ride. With additional tools such as haptic feedback, temperature control, and spatial sound, it is possible to make people feel as if they are standing in another part of the world.
Remember, customers can be up to 130% more likely to book a hotel room after having a virtual tour of the location.
Step 3: Explore New Avenues for Travel
With fewer people booking large vacations and trips, partly because of anxiety, and partly as a result of limited budgets, travel companies need to find more experiences to sell. In 2020, an interesting option has emerged in the form of “virtual travel” – a VR -based solution that gives people the ability to visit destinations temporarily.
While virtual tourism, or “armchair travel” cannot replace the desire to visit new locations in person, it can offer a unique option for travel companies to expand their services. This is particularly true at a time when overtourism and sustainability are becoming concerns.
Travel companies can offer powerful virtual travel experiences as a kind of “day trip” for their customers, to give them more ways of exploring the world. Alternatively, you can look at the option to enhance the average lifetime value to customers, by adding to real -life experiences. Beacons and 5G technology open the door to a more powerful hybrid travel experience.
The right solutions can allow customers to scan QR codes and gain instant access to unique AR events and games as they explore a location. Both of those tools can provide a more “premium” hotel or tour experience.
Step 4: Open the Door for Innovation
More and more, consumers are looking for companies that have the ability to offer them something new, exciting, and innovative. This is particularly true in the age of the metaverse, where people are becoming more interested in the connection between the real and digital worlds. With XR solutions, travel companies can open new doors for exploring the metaverse, with tickets to virtual events, non -world tours and more.
When making a business case for the travel XR, it’s worth thinking about the technologies you might want to embrace in the future, as well as today. The rise of XR tools and applications not only provides new ways to stimulate and amuse customers, but also important opportunities for business productivity. The right tools will help teams work more effectively together to come up with new ideas for tours and excursions, wherever they are.
The smart tools built into the XR environment can also help brands collect valuable information about customers and what they want from their travel experiences. Everything from eye tracking technology to AI pattern detection can pave the way for new insights into travel opportunities.
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