John Morhous joined the Flight Centre Travel Group in 2007 as the director of IT with FCM Travel Solutions, and most recently has worked in the role of Chief Strategy Officer for the company’s corporate brands in the Americas. In May this year John was promoted to the position of Chief Experience Officer (CXO) across FCTG’s corporate brands globally.
John is responsible for ensuring a streamlined approach to the implementation and management of new digital technologies, and contributing to the Flight Centre group’s global strategies for thought leadership, innovation plans and broader technology pipelines.
The Illuminate team recently talked to John about his new role and what part it plays in FCTG’s customer-centric strategies.
Why do you believe the Chief Experience Officer (CXO) is so vital to the corporate travel industry?
“Customers have high expectations of the available technology in today’s world … powerful computing devices and really intricate apps are being used by the majority of business travellers. However, business travel booking platforms in the past have been unfriendly and as a result people don’t use them.
But with the increase in elegantly designed and easy-to-use technologies, more and more customers are looking for consumer-grade applications similar to those used in the retail and leisure travel sectors.
I think the role of a CXO is a vital part of any global travel business, because the corporate travel industry is finally understanding that the consumer experience is just as important for business travel as it is for consumer travel”.
How does your role help make the value of the user experience an intrinsic part of FCTG’s strategic direction?
“It really comes back to the conundrum of business to consumer (B2C) versus business to business (B2B). With B2B you need to entice people to use your services, whereas with B2C they are somewhat forced to do so.
Specifically in the corporate travel sector, we are essentially a B2B2C business. In the past, consumers didn’t have much of a choice as they’d be forced to use either our FCM or our Corporate Traveller services.
However, these days, they do have a choice. Consumers can go to your site, but if it’s not user-friendly, they’ll go elsewhere to book. So it’s just recognising that trend and trying to adapt to it.”