Sunder PillaiFriction points in hotel bookings on mobile devices are becoming a key agenda item for clients of NTT Data Services.

“Gone are the days there was one (booking) channel. Now you have an omni-channel solution and each has its own set of issues when it comes to customer experiences,” said Sunder Pillai, chief innovation officer of travel and hospitality. “We are heavily focused on customer friction in the hospitality industry.”

“The major trends we are looking at are integration with mobile data,” Pillai said, in an interview with Cruise Industry News. “The integration of data and understanding what data really means, that is a key trend.

“The second thing is the connected room environment, for example, pushing your content on the television.”

A study released by the business and IT services provider was less than kind to OTAs (online travel agencies), outlining the agencies asking for essentially too much information, and pushing up and cross selling.

“With regards to OTAs, given their scope and spectrum, and the way they operate, the transactions are not that seamless,” he added. “That is not typically the case for a mobile transaction on a brand.com.”

NTT has thus come up with their own scoring system to identify and quantify friction points in the hospitality booking process.

“We look at it tactfully, from a strategic point of view,” Pillai noted. “Guests are looking for a seamless transaction. We have seen customers that have implemented solutions and they have far better customer retention and it ensures repeat business.”