The social web is taking off because of the rise of mobile, according to the chief information officer of Europe’s largest travel firm.
Tui Travel’s Mittu Sridhara told the Abta Travel Convention in Croatia this week that firms needed to shake off the old analogue world and be where their customers are.
Tui launched its MyThomson app after just 14 weeks development and it has seen five updates, 70,000 downloads and between 5,000 and 7,000 average daily users.
Sridhara said this is allowing the firm to talk to people it has not before and to learn what customers want from the service.
“A lot of businesses are in an analogue world. We do a lot of things in the physical world. We have to be talking to people typically with some technology behind them.
“This is changing the way we interface with technology. A lot of businesses are busy building better websites, better selling platforms but consumers are all mobile and also increasingly social.
“Social is taking off because of increased mobility. Mobility and social are absolutely crucial.”
Sridhara told the delegates that the important things were keeping it simple, seeing mobile as a customer offering and producing the right content in an appealing way.
He said travel firms did not need big data to get started on the basics, because they had the expertise in-house to anticipate customer needs and wants and to use mobile communications to push out relevant advice or offers.
“Be simple, be relevant and be one step ahead, and most importantly keep it simple and start it now because this is moving very quickly.
“If you are not in it you won’t learn from your customers, if you’re not present there is no time to play catch-up.”