Corendon is the winner of the most recent WUA! orientation study (article in Dutch) that focused on booking a family holiday in Turkey. Here is our conversation with Martin de Boer, Marketing Director at Corendon. About being customer-focused, reaching your audience in the age of Netflix, and about the new Mijn Corendon app. “Stay tuned, it’s going to be pretty!”
Corendon operates in Europe, but also in Bali and Curacao. The market for travel that Corendon traditionally ventures into (hot countries in Europe with a focus on Turkey and Greece), is in trouble: recent political tension, attacks, and the refugee crisis have resulted in fewer bookings, and they also caused many people to rebook their holidays. People are diverting to Spain, which results in a lot of work for De Boer and his team to manage customer expectations. An all-inclusive at a newly opened, brand new resort in Turkey is something different than accommodation in Spain.
In addition to Corendon being the winner of this WUA! study, there is a lot of other bright news to report. The company recently opened a new hotel on Ibiza, and many bookings are coming in. The travel agency will soon be opening a hotel in Amsterdam, in the old Sony headquarters, so there is plenty of innovation and development, despite the setbacks in the market.
Congratulations, Martin de Boer, you are the winner of this orientation study that focused on a family holiday in Turkey. How important is it for you to be the best with Corendon?
“Being the number 1 is always nice, but it gets even better when it’s a study that maps the search for a family holiday and shows how this search is experienced by the customer. For us it is really important to know how the customer experiences their search for their annual holiday. That is a process we focus on continuously.”
You don’t just score high on findability, but also the other topics of the WPS model. What is going so well for you?
“The continuous attention of all teams for the needs of the customer. What does the customer want? What is important to the customer? This question is at the heart of the various teams, from marketing to product. With regard to findability, it is also important to continuously focus on developments in the market. Where should we be, how often, and in what way? ”
What is the role of customer research and customer focus in your daily work?
“Companies that aren’t customer focused won’t survive. It’s all about the customer. For them, booking a summer holiday is a considerable expense, people want to relax and enjoy their time with family or friends. An important moment in the year to enjoy together, carefree. Our task is to deliver a carefree experience for the customer, from booking to returning home.”
What is your biggest digital challenge?
“My biggest digital challenge is the rapidly changing media landscape. More and more people visit our website on their mobile, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to reach customers through mass media. Customers choose when they watch TV, Netflix and on-demand are very popular and on the rise. And the emergence of ad-blockers isn’t making it any easier to approach the customer online. The big challenge remains to ensure that we identify the customer on all online channels and that we can offer relevant content.”
How do you view service in relation to sales? Could service eventually become the new sales in the travel sector?
“I definitely agree with that. The customer wants to enjoy their holiday without having to worry, good (online) service is important in order to be able offer that, and it ensures repeat purchases. The “Mijn Corendon” environment, which is now online and will soon be available as an app, is purely focused on service to the customer. Corendon is therefore always at arm’s length for the customer. Through the app, the customer can contact us directly and view the current status of their journey.”
Are you doing anything else fun and new at Corendon that we should know about?
“The new Mijn Corendon app is in the making, which will be THE service channel for the Corendon customer. Stay tuned, it’s going to be pretty!”