The State of Customer Experience

hospitality, Travel & leisure Customers are hungry for more

4-5 years ago, you may have been able to get away with an adequate experience. But customer expectations are rising, and fast!

And when 80% of brands believe they are delivering a superior experience, but only 8% of customers believe they are receiving a great customer experience, it’s time to acknowledge that this is where your focus should be.

So before you spend one more dime on ads, influencers, or beautiful video campaigns, you must elevate your experience and create exceptional, memorable moments for your customers! Here’s why...

An increased desire for happiness is shifting human behavior and consumer spending.

It's getting harder to provide great experiences due to rising expectations

Higher experience expectations than 2 years ago: 

Consumers are shifting their expenditures from goods to experiences 

Average annual personal-consumption-expenditure growth 2014-2016, %

Positive experiences influences purchasing decisions in every industry. They are particularly influential in restaurants (74%) and hotels (74%).

66% of hotel guests who say they would go out of their way to stay at a desired hotel brand claim they would do so because of a positive experience with the hotel, making it the top reason before price (51%), location (48%), and familiarity with the brand (45%).

The payoffs for valued, thoughtful experiences are tangible.

  • At least three times more likely to recommend your product or service

  • Three times more likely to re-purchase

  • Less likely to shop around (44% said they rarely or never shop around)

Brands that get it right see upwards of a 16% price premium on services, plus increased loyalty.

42% of all consumers would pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience. And, among U.S. customers, 65% find a positive experience with a brand to be more influential than great advertising.


What is the cost for ignoring opportunities to elevate your experience? One in three consumers (32%) say they will walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience.

On the other hand, emotionally engaged customers are much less price sensitive and...


The level of engagement defines the customer value and it has been observed that fully connected customers are 52% more valuable, comparing to those who are simply satisfied with a brand.

Customer Value in relation to highly satisfied customers

The increased value of fully connected customers relative to highly satisfied ones varies by category. Hotel room stays saw 41% increased value.

Moreover, according to a survey by Forrester Research, companies that aim for emotional connection beat their competitors by 26% in gross margin and 85% in sales growth, with customers feeling more engaged and appreciated.

Unfortunately, when looking at hotels specifically, nearly half of hotel guest are dissatisfied with how a hotel delighted them.


But for those that do delight, word of mouth is the most common response to a positive experience. When asked what they did when they experienced a positive incident, customers report telling their friends and family about it in just under half (47%) of cases, rising to 60% of cases for hotel customers. With this word of mouth, naturally, comes further opportunities for new customer acquisition.

In the hotel industry, among customers who felt valued, 90% will advocate for the brand, 67% plan to increase their spending with the brand, and 87% plan to stay with the brand, per Forrester’s Customer Experience (CX) Index.

Standout Storytelling was created to inspire hospitality & leisure experience brands to think more deeply about the story they're telling - both on and offline. With a focus on visitor and guest wellbeing, we have developed the tools to help experience brands create more compelling stories and exceptional experiences.

Are you ready to build your Standout Story?

To begin integrating emotional & behavioral intelligence, storytelling, and guest experience into your business, learn more about the new Standout StoryBuilding course!

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