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Navigating Airlines Travel Experience with the Metaverse

This week we feature an article by Prabhjinder Bedi, Chief Growth Officer at Tech Mahindra Business Process Services. He writes about the impact on the customer experience that metaverse will have on the travel industry and how customers and brands will navigate the new developments. Customer service in the travel industry begins when a person […]

This week we feature an article by Prabhjinder Bedi, Chief Growth Officer at Tech Mahindra Business Process Services. He writes about the impact on the customer experience that metaverse will have on the travel industry and how customers and brands will navigate the new developments.

Customer service in the travel industry begins when a person reveals an interest to explore and decides to travel. Post the decision phase, the traveler has multiple touchpoints that lead to the actual travel. Here, attention to minute details is a catalyst to fulfilling the entire travel experience.  

There are apps for almost everything, especially hotels, restaurants, attractions, and museums. These are accessible to people who seek better information on travel and specific locations. More and more people are learning about different places through these different apps and social media platforms. You can read some reviews about the location and some blog posts. 

With the ongoing pandemic, the travel industry is probably the closest to witnessing a hyper-focus on customer experience. In the evolving times, all it takes is a click of a button on social media to make it viral! Whether it is an overwhelming experience or an unforgettable one, it is instantly highlighted with feedback. 

Metaverse in Travel Industry

The metaverse’s notion is that avatars will be platform-agnostic, and we will be able to easily shift our digital assets from one platform to the other. This implies it’s interoperable, allowing users to move about freely like they would in the real world. 

So, what influence might this parallel digital universe have on the travel business if it continues to grow? Will individuals abandon travel completely to see global places only through virtual reality? Will life as we know it become a science fiction film? How can you replace the sensation of water droplets showering on your skin, the rush of wind on your face, the scent of dirt when it rains, or the warmth of the sun caressing your face on a cold morning? As you can see, metaverse cannot totally replace travel. It will, however, complement travel and, over time, become an integral element of the travel ecology. It may even alter the way passengers make pre-, post-, and on-trip purchases. 

Since the global pandemic hugely impacted the airline sector, the metaverse has become increasingly important. Travel businesses are developing systems that will allow customers to virtually experience hotel rooms and flights, underlining the need to “try before you buy” when it comes to travel. Thanks to the technology, passengers will be able to quickly locate check-in desks, escalators, the correct gate, and baggage claim locations at the airport. 

Data-Driven Customer Experience that Offers Personalized Service

With thousands of potential routes and fares at their fingertips, airlines have to ask themselves how they can provide relevant information to individual customers. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for this problem, machine learning (ML) offers a promising way forward. This technique is used by many airlines to analyze data and offer personalized services such as best fare alerts or other extras that might be of interest to travelers.  

Ways to Improve Customer Experience in Travel Industry

Readily access and integrate one or more of the following elements into your strategy to improve customer experience (CX) in the travel industry: 

  • ChatBots and AI
  • Smart Rooms
  • Virtual Reality
  • Augmented Reality
  • User-generated content

The global metaverse in the travel industry has been split into blockchain, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) based on technology. Over time, the AR category is likely to account for a considerable revenue share. This is via the growing usage of AR-infused navigation for virtual destination tours, technological breakthroughs in AR-enabled devices, and the use of AR to enhance local transit and museum tours. AR technology may potentially benefit the travel sector by increasing consumers’ hunger and curiosity for new destinations, assisting travel agencies in increasing ticket and hotel booking volume, and improving the overall travel experience. 

 An efficient CX framework is established with the ability to anticipate customer needs, wants, and/or behaviors and customize the offers, services & communications to that specific need/want/behavior. Additionally, contextualizing the process of putting information, making sense of information from the situation, time, journey, or location in which the information was found, and pleasant interactions are the set feature that is part of the product or service that are useful & easy to use.  

Next-generation omnichannel e-commerce marketplace to onboard and manage brand products and services: 

  • A unified Marketplace designed to provide a personalized shopping experience for passengers and non-passengers 
  • Optimized marketing effectiveness across engagement points 
  • Improved operational efficiency with faster time to market 
  • Accelerated conversions while decreasing fallouts 
  • Grow revenues & increase sales through upselling & cross-selling 
  • Respond swiftly to changing needs & expectations from Brand partners – both content & product 

As we know, the metaverse is the digital and physical convergence into a new experience. We believe that several aspects of the airport can be experienced by the passenger virtually and enjoyed too. For example, the traveler can enjoy duty-free shopping and duty-paid goods purchases at the airport in a Virtual world even before they enter the airport. Another example can be the terminal environment in the Metaverse world, where a traveler who doesn’t speak the language or doesn’t travel often can experience the airport terminal in a digital avatar. When ready at a future date – Cryptocurrencies can also be used to complete the shopping experience. The fulfillment of the shopping can be done by delivery at the Aircraft boarding point. 

The metaverse shopping experience can be so rich and engaging for travelers that it can also attract significant participation from Retailers. There can be a limitless number of ‘Virtual Concessionaires in the Metaverse’ that GMR Airports can onboard. 

Improved Airport Throughput & Productivity

Emphasize the journey-centric perspective of airport operations for seamless customer experience via the metaverse: 

  • Focus on specific areas to improve capacity – such as addressing a single bottleneck to improve throughput. With flight, operational, and engagement data, end-to-end movement data can create detailed behavioral profiles to improve resourcing and smooth customer journey. 
  • Passenger forecasting solutions, flow, and density management maximize distancing between passengers with real-time signal processing and virtual queuing. 
  • Anticipating when passengers will show up and creating plans that match resource capacity with actual demand while ensuring an all-around high performance at the airport.  
  • Providing the right data and giving the insights and recommendations needed to deliver using an AI-based solution that leverages video analytics. From check-in to security to immigration, analyzing situations, proactively action, and efficient movement.  

Customer Engagement Framework in Tech Mahindra

At Tech M, the Customer Engagement Framework is aimed at helping organizations improve their Customer Engagement efforts through 6 quintessential actions: 

  • Understand the customers 
  • Optimizing performance 
  • Listening to universal behaviors 
  • Building marketing content 
  • Planning the budget 
  • Designing customer experience 

Addressing the travel CX program needs will require developing new capabilities across the enterprise’s current state, focused on transactions and not conversations, disconnected with the customer universe and process being the hero. Whereas the target state aims to focus on a shared conversation state across touchpoints in a converging universe where people (employees and passengers) are central to the story – adaptive processes. The only way to achieve this is through an amalgamation of point solutions, with IT and enterprise capabilities. 

Prabhjinder Bedi is the Chief Growth Officer at Tech Mahindra Business Process Services. He has over two decades of experience involving launching start-up ecosystems, scaling-up businesses, taking products and services to market, and exposure to industry verticals spanning Telecom and Media, Financial Services, Retail, and Consumer Goods, Manufacturing to Lifesciences.

employee productivityFor more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to

Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: The Top Five Reasons Customers Don’t Come Back


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