Tour operators – creating a complete customer profile


Author: Lisanne Wiendels

One of the key elements of Customer Engagement Management is building customer knowledge. In order to build customer knowledge a Tour Operator needs a customer knowledge strategy, proper customer data management and use techniques such as segmentation and selection analysis and a retention and cross-sell analysis. When all this is put in place a customer profile can be determined. In order to create a complete customer profile a Tour Operator must gather data, however data will only become information if the Tour Operator can give meaning to the data it is gathering. Customer data can say something about the identity and profile of the consumer, this is of importance because once that is established,  products and services can be offered accordingly (Peelen, E., &Beltman,2013).

A customer profile is the complete overview of all information an organization holds about each of the customers. Organizations which would like to develop intensive relationships with customers will have to form an image of the customer as a buyer but also as a person because each customer is unique and is also is an unique individual. In order to form this specific image of the customer, segmentation and selection analysis’s are important. Segmentation is a research process in which the market is divided up into homogeneous customer groups that respond in the same way to marketing stimuli from the supplier (Peelen, E., &Beltman,2013).When an organization make investments in Customer Engagement Management or Customer Relationship Management applications obtain significant intangible benefits, such as improved customer knowledge and customer satisfaction. Achieving such customer focused business objectives is a critical part for success in increasingly competitive markets (Mithas, S., Krishnan, M. S., & Fornell, C., 2005).

Creating a good customer profile is a complicated process and the quality of the profiles vary from organization to organization. When an insignificant amount of information and data is used to create the customer profile, marketers can struggle to target the segments effectively. The most common reasons for organizations to not be able to create a useful customer profile  is the lack of technical knowledge within the marketing team to access different databases across the business. Another reasons is a too large and complex IT infrastructure which makes it difficult to look for data. The result of this would be that the needed data to create the customer profile is stuck in the internal database together with the insight it contains (Innometrics,2015).

The profiles contain information from different sources such as demographic and event data, past behavioural data and static characteristics. It also provides the organization with an insight into who the customer is, how he or she has interacted with the brand in the past and which previous purchases were made (Innometrics,2015). It is important to use different sources of information to create a complete customer profile. Examples of the most common sources of information used to create customer profile are email interaction data, social engagement data, the CRM database, web behavioural data, clickstream data, recorded customer data, in-store data, external information and predictive data.

To close in a few of these sources one can say that email interaction is the data a Tour Operator  collects from email campaigns. By monitoring the success or response rate of the email interaction the Tour Operator can establish which of the customer segments is responding to this marketing stimuli. Almost similar is click stream data which is the process of collecting reporting and analyzing data about which pages visitors visit and in what order. A useful tool for recording this process is Google Analytics which is an analytical program and can be used to monitor online customer behavior.  The social engagement information on the other hand shows the organization whether the content has been shared with a wider audience across social media environments, for example when TUI published a weekend deal on Facebook, they can measure how many times this campaign has been shared and with whom.

The social-media strategy of a Tour Operator plays an important role in the social media environment. TUI has cooperated with MAINSTREAM which is an organization specialized in creating online strategies and monitoring online behaviour. This indicates that TUI finds the social media environment important and want to include this into their customer profile (upstream,2015). Finally the CRM database is also of crucial importance to customer profiles and it is constantly updated with new information as the relationship with the customer changes. The Tour Operator can analyse the data it contains to understand patterns of purchasing and identify opportunities to cross sell or upsell. Overall we can state that the customer profile is a collection of all customer data both online and offline and plays an important part of the organizations Customer Engagement Management.



Inometrics. (2015). How to create a complete customer profile. Retrieved from:

Mithas, S., Krishnan, M. S., & Fornell, C. (2005). Why Do Customer Relationship Management Applications Affect Customer Satisfaction?. Journal Of Marketing, 69(4), 201-209. doi:10.1509/jmkg.2005.69.4.201

Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. Part IV Marketing. In E. Peelen, & R. Beltman, Customer Relationship Management (Vol. 2, pp. 216-225). United Kingdom: Pearson Education Limited.

 Upstream. (2015). Diensten. Retrieved from:


3 thoughts on “Tour operators – creating a complete customer profile”

  1. Dear Mr. Hundt,

    Thank you very much for showing interest in my blog. I have read you comment and I will use your feedback to improve my blog accordingly.

    The use of Claes Fornells expertise on this subject would help me to gain a better understanding of this topic and therefor I will try to use his information in my blog.

    Kind regards

    Lisanne Wiendels


  2. A nice to read blog with some clear examples of e-mail and social data. This leads to the question whether you can also say something on how to gather and use web behavioural data, clickstream data, recorded customer data, in-store data, external information and predictive data. Of course that will lead to a (too?) long blog, but also explaining these elements will make your blog even more informative,


  3. Dear Lisanne,

    I appreciated reading your post, although I would give the honest advice to add more paragraphs to it. This makes it easier for the reader to follow your observations and statement. Your post is well-balanced in using academic sources and brings up interesting observations. By using Inometrics as one of your key sources you strongly integrated practice examples into your post.

    When reading your text, Claes Fornell, an expert on customer satisfaction measurement, came to my mind. He published several articles in the Journal of Marketing in recent years that might underline your observations with more expert academic statements.

    Both, practitioners as well as academics could then comfortably follow your text towards your strong final statement.



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