INDUSTRY

Travel

HEADQUARTERS

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

CHALLENGES
  • Sharp increase in customer queries
  • Need for quick scalability
  • Improve and stimulate self-service
  • Increase use of chat as a service channel 
KEY WINS
  • Improved employee satisfaction
  • Implementation of efficient and effective smart conversational flows
  • Increase of chat as a service channel to 50%
PRODUCTS USED
  • Freshchat
  • Bots
  • Freshdesk

Queries over chat

50%

Employees

550+

Countries operating in

39

About Travix

Travix is a leading global online travel company, operating in 39 countries and employing over 550 people worldwide. Travix helps over 5 million passengers every year, filling more than 85 planes every day to over 2000 destinations worldwide. The company runs 5 brands and an extensive portfolio of 43 websites.

Travix has been working with Freshworks since 2018, and has since then successfully implemented Freshdesk, Freshcaller and Freshchat. The implementation of the three Freshworks solutions led to the development of a very successful omnichannel platform. Safe to say: things were going great for Travix.

Then, COVID hit.

Frustrated customers - many of them 

Travel dropped by 70 to 75 percent globally, but inevitably, customer requests did the exact opposite. The worldwide travel restrictions led to many frustrated customers who did not only see their trip disappear into thin air, but now also involuntarily had to deal with administrative tasks such as cancellations and refund requests.

Needless to say, Travix needed to recalibrate swiftly to service customers in a new, scalable way in the changing customer landscape. “The most logical and obvious solution was to aggressively invest in the self-service capabilities of the helpdesk - and to do this fast,” says Kimberly Strickland, CC Innovations Manager at Travix. “That is where chatbots came in. We were already starting to plan for the implementation of chatbots and automation by the end of 2019, but COVID now accelerated this process.”

Conversational flows and automations

Travix’s new KPI was clear and bold: a digital-first approach for 80% of the customer enquiries. In order to reach this, one of the main goals was to deflect customers from agents as much as possible, so they could tend to the mountain of refunds, cancellation and changes. Freddy (aptly renamed Travis) would then accommodate the more generic requests. 

To route customer conversations this way, smart conversational flows were necessary. With Freshworks’ help in a strategic and supportive role, Travix implemented Travis as an automated bot to help customers with the 6 most common queries: Cancellation, Change, Luggage, Online check-in, Travel Document Request and Refund Status Check. 

Kimberly Strickland explains, “The bot Travis serves as a very accessible first point of contact, directly available on the website, for customer queries. Customers are happy to see their question in the chatbot, as it gives them immediate confidence that their issue can and will be solved through self-service.”

Travis can successfully solve the ‘easier’ 3 of the 6 queries from beginning to end, based on automation and smart conversational flows, without the need for a live agent - but of course with the possibility to transfer if necessary.
For the other 3, Travis starts the conversation, collects relevant data and then transfers the customer, query and data to a live agent who will personally help the customer to their specific solution. 

Improving the agent experience

The implementation of Travis to help customer service agents led to a very high agent satisfaction rate, for many reasons:

  • First of all, Travis reduced the amount of work for them - by answering the ‘easy’ questions autonomously, but also through all the preliminary work on the queries that were eventually transferred to agents. 
  • Secondly, Travis will allow Travix to open up even more channels to service customers, making it easier for customers to find them, and request and receive help. 
  • Lastly, bots are a very easy channel for agents to work with, as they are intuitive and easy to use. Adoption was, therefore, no problem.

“And where agents benefit, customers get their queries resolved faster and better, ultimately leading to satisfied customers” Kimberly Strickland says. 

Travis has now been deployed on 40 of the 43 affiliates, but plans are to increase this even further.

Looking ahead

In 2019, Travix’s support took place 5% over social, 50% over calls, and 45% over email. With the implementation of automation and bots, a mere 25% of the service takes place over email and calls, and an impressive 50% is taken care of by bots and automation. Travix is actively working towards the goal of having 80% of customer conversations taking place over chatbot. It expects that by the end of this year, e-mail will reduce by 35% and calls by 25% while chat will increase by 15%. Travix calculated this could lead to a reduction of the number of FTEs by 36%.

Fuelled by the impressive results with Freshworks’ products and their relentless urge to provide the best customer experience possible, Travix is now planning to expand the usage of bots and automation even further. Increasing accessibility through APAC and US markets, optimizing conversational flows and continuously monitoring Travis’ performance are now the company’s highest priorities.

Kimberly Strickland adds: “For the Dutch market, we are exploring to implement Freddy AI on Facebook Messenger, to service customers on yet another platform of their own preference. This will also help agents double their weekly service volume.”

Competitive advantage

With this new approach, Travix has ensured for itself a very strong position in a recovering industry: as a company that services customers quickly, accurately and on the first contact. The successful implementation of Travis has evolved to a very strong competitive advantage, which will hopefully help the company recover from the crisis.  

“For Travix, chat is no longer ‘just another’ channel. The goal is to ensure that by the end of the year, 50% of customer inquiries take place through chat. That is a massive culture change for our company, which had leaned on manual processes and a ‘just give us a call’-approach to service for many years.”

Kimberly Strickland

CC Innovations Manager

Travix