Hospitality has something to do with personalized and smart interactions, and this is particularly true with tourists in our regions. Digital transformation will certainly help tourist offices to tackle with their objectives.

 » A high potential tool, offering easy vision of visitors satisfaction and needs. An equipment allowing quick and efficient targeted campaigns, to improve quality and business. »

Emmanuelle Brunella, Vars Office (PACA, France)

France has been among the top touristic destinations for years now and the benefits captured in our regions could eventually be a crucial element to boost French economic growth. The tourist offices play a key role to attract individuals from France and abroad and to satisfy them. Thus, their understanding of digital solutions and their opportunities is crucial from a micro level (impact on local businesses) and macro level (economic growth, visibility of our country and local cultures). We tried one of these solutions with Vars (station in the mountains) to collect customer’s feedbacks for continuous improvement of the office services.

Recently, a friend of mine who works in an association aiming at boosting the tourist offices processes recalled me that tourism is responsible for at least 8% of our current national GDP. Among all the strategies to improve regional attractiveness and boost the flow of tourists, engaging them into more and systematic digital interactionsseems to be the best option for two reasons:

  1. It offers high ROI due to continuous improvement of the offer and customer retention and attraction.

It is the best way to adapt to the fast-evolving behaviors where smartphones and IoT tend to capture any interaction between consumers and the companies.

Let me tell you how I conducted a digital and cross-canal customer voice program with Vars tourist office. Not so far away from Marseille you’ll find this ski station who’s said to be the best-in-class when it comes to customer relation. Current pressure exerted by our national institutions on these touristic entities becomes so important that these ones must continuously improve the quality of their services to deserve their autonomy and reputation.

Having said that, the regional representative for these offices and The Feedback Instituteworked hand in hand with Vars office to set up a customer voice program to measure customer satisfaction and identify their expectations. To ensure this and to set the best example to the whole industry, I decided with them to privilege a cross-canal approach. In fact, because customers really don’t want to be disturbed during their journey in Vars, we chose the smartest and less intrusive way to capture their feedbacks:

•         A digital kiosk in the reception of the office building

•         A pop-up message on Vars website

•         Sending a personnalized eMail after each customer booked for a room or an activity through the booking website

Vars collected more than 1.000 feedbacks through these canals. After having analyzed them the office could detect enough weak signs to set up an improvement plan: from the organization of its website to customer wishes in the whole station. Also, many feedbacks were very encouraging, the sort of comments any organization would post on the socials networks or display on the home page of their website. Next step of this trial with Vars is to upgrade the approach with more canals: interacting through the WiFi or Vars mobile app.

After having improved the quality of the services, Vars next objective is to post positive feedbacks throughout the web to attract more web users on its website and convert them into actual customers

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