Experience is a pretty basic word that most of us understand. We use it a lot in the travel industry. It's what happens to us when we go somewhere, visit a place, see something. It's the journey, not just the end, not just the beginning. It's the entire journey, from thinking about it, to returning home.
In the travel world, it's easy to understand. You want to take a trip. You get information from a site, look at your options, book your room, plan how to get there, what you'll do when you're there, and how you'll get home again. Every element of that is part of your trip. It's complete, not just a part here or there, it's whole. And to be whole, it must be quality.
The travel world understands that well because how visitors are treated determines very much whether they refer places, how much they purchase, and how soon they'll return. All of that impacts revenue in the travel world significantly.
The rest of the world is beginning to appreciate customer experience much the same way. One of my first clients after working at South Dakota Tourism was a manufacturing plant. We looked at problems from the customer perspective to find solid solutions. Mapping out the customer experience always shows where the bumps are, where the customer doesn't get what she wanted, where improvements can be made. It's a journey that is incredibly important to take, and beginning of the year is a great time to take it.