My Transcom Experience

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Author: Stefan Pettersson

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The world is calling

“You have to be ready for virtually any situation and so it is fundamental for us to have a solid supplier like Transcom who can guarantee us a high-quality service all the time.”

Giorgio Bonafini, Operations Director of lastminute.com group

Giorgio Bonafini, Operations Director at lastminute.com group

Giorgio Bonafini, Operations Director at lastminute.com group

As a customer care agent, you need a lot of finesse and quick thinking, not to mention diplomatic and language skills. Big time,” says Giorgio Bonafini, Operations Director of lastminute.com group and speaking from the company’s headquarters in Chiasso, Switzerland. The lastminute.com group offers a range of products including flights, hotels, holidays, city breaks, cruises, car hire as well as other travel and leisure related products.

With services in 17 languages and handling approximately 10 million customers per year, the amount of client assistance services delivered is huge. Transcom has been acting as lastminute.com group’s strategic partner, providing bookings and customer service activities across Europe and North Africa through voice, email and chat functions. Giorgio Bonafini estimates that between 60 and 70 percent of the company’s customer management is handled by Transcom via these traditional channels. Phoning in is especially popular with, for example, the Russians, he says.

“When it comes to our Russian customers for example, my observation is that they want to be sure and secure about what they have reserved, and the procedures that are in place in the case of a ‘what if’. There are a great deal of cultural differences in the way our clients contact us, and why,” he explains. And the nature of the questions and requirements that come through can almost be as varied as there are destinations and activities to choose from.

“We had this one customer who wanted to know whether he could bring a live zebra with him on board his flight,” Giorgio Bonafini recalls, noting that the agent processing the enquiry then had to contact the airline in question to check whether it was actually possible. “It’s important for us that agents go that extra mile to ensure that we can offer our customers the best travel and leisure experiences out there, but no, in this case it just wasn’t possible. Animals of a certain size couldn’t be brought along.”

There was also the case when a customer wished to bring 15 bicycles with him in his luggage, or the time when an airplane passenger wasn’t familiar with having to adjust the time on her watch when flying westwards. “The client couldn’t understand how she could possibly arrive at her destination before the time of her departure. That took a bit of gentle explaining about time zones,” he says. Compared with just a decade ago, the evolution of new technology and the increasing use of social media have also added a whole new dimension when it comes to the courtesy, product know-how and diplomacy skills required by customer care agents – even for those who handle the conventional channels like telephone and email services.

“Although we’re seeing an increased migration towards social media, most people are still using the traditional channels as a point of first contact. But if they’re not happy, they may take to social media which obviously can be very impactful,” Bonafini explains, adding that his company remains directly in charge of the group’s customer care on the social media channels. “You have to be ready for virtually any situation and so it is fundamental for us to have a solid supplier like Transcom who can guarantee us a high-quality service all the time.”

FACTS/LASTMINUTE.COM GROUP

  • lastminute.com group is a European leader in the online travel and leisure industry.
  • It offers flights, hotels, holidays, city breaks, cruises, car hire as well as other travel and leisure related products.
  • More than 10 million customers book their travel and leisure experiences every year.
  • Its biggest markets are UK, Italy, France, Spain and Germany, and its services are offered in 17 languages, including Arabic.

Article originally published in the Hello Transcom magazine. Text: Louise Nordström. 

Transcom improves travel and leisure experience for a leading operator’s customers

In May 2015, one of the world’s largest travel operators became our client. The company, which operates exclusively online, offering leisure solutions and ideas to millions of users worldwide, has a significant presence today in Europe and particularly in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and France. In this framework, Transcom acts as a strategic partner, providing efficient multilingual, multichannel assistance services and managing customer service activities on the European market.

Leisure Day

Our client offers a huge range of travel services on its website (hotels, flights, holidays, car hire, cruises), with an entire section devoted to the leisure offering, featuring special theme packages in the areas of sport and adventure, events, concerts, wellness packages, original gift ideas, tickets for football matches and much more.

The customer service activities entrusted to Transcom’s multilingual team cover the entire range of services and aim to ensure that users receive the best possible travel and leisure experience.

SALES collage leisure

The most important requirement expressed by the client was to combine high quality multilingual services with a competitive price model. The solution proposed by Transcom fully satisfies this expectation and today provides quality at the highest level and the best possible customer experience in various languages out of two different operating centers: Budapest and Tunisia.

Transcom’s presence in so many different areas of the world and the consolidated experience it has accumulated in the travel sector underpin the success of the partnership and open up possibilities for further collaboration outside Europe.

The best customer experience for Italian business travelers starts in Tunis

Early this year, Transcom Tunis officially launched a new customer care service for one of Italy’s biggest travel companies.  As partner and founding member of a worldwide network that unites the best travel management companies in 80 countries, this new client decided to form a strategic partnership with Transcom in order to ensure the best possible customer experience for its customers.

SALES Cisalpina article

To prepare for this important start up, the dedicated Transcom project team focused in maximizing service quality in a structural and coordinated way. A group of specialized resources was recruited and coordinated by a team of managers who constantly monitor service quality and take action at various levels to increase customer satisfaction, improve service provision and efficiency, and fine tune the management of corporate processes.

Work got underway with an initial group of 15 agents. The talents selected for the project are passionate about their work and have demonstrated great professionalism and excellent performance throughout their training, right from the very first day. A carefully designed three-month training program contributed to creating a relationship based on the maximum possible collaboration and interaction among team members, trainers and project managers, making it easier to learn during training and to overcome all the difficulties and critical issues every start-up encounters.

The dedicated project team during training.

The dedicated project team during training.

We are extremely satisfied with the trustworthy relationship and collaboration we have established with our client at this initial stage. We have laid the best possible foundations for a long-term partnership that will turn out to be highly profitable for everyone involved, not least all the Italian business travelers who will receive the best possible customer care, provided by Transcom Tunis.

Author: Gordon Camenzuli

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Transcom Budapest – a story of operating excellence for a client that´s conquering the world

Our client is one of Europe’s largest and fastest growing online travel operators. From its origins in Italy, the company’s operations have expanded rapidly and now completes up to 7,500 customer transactions a day in eight European languages. Expansions into the Australian, Philippine and USA markets in early 2012 clearly signaled our client’s global ambitions.

The collaboration with Transcom started in 2009, with customer services managed initially from our Tunis and Pula centers in Croatia, providing support in French and Italian as both countries being the two main markets for the online travel operator back then. Following its success in southern Europe, in 2011 the travel agency extended its online booking services to Russia and the Ukraine, followed by Germany, Hungary, Poland and Turkey.

In light of these developments, the Transcom team in Budapest – a central hub where multiple languages can be handled at scale – swiftly set up the Russian service in October 2011, soon to be followed by new teams dedicated to Germany, Hungary, Poland and Turkey. The operations performed in Budapest for our client include the Global Distribution System services of the very highest quality, which system is used to handle ticketing and post sales activities for all the major flag carrier airlines. Interaction between front and back offices has been optimised to speed up the resolution of customer requests. With over 700 contacts and more than 1,500 bookings and post sales operations handled on a daily basis, the excellent coordination and organisation capabilities of this project’s team leaders and agents needs no further comment.

he Budapest team dedicated to the project

In October, the team celebrated the 2nd anniversary of the start of the service in Budapest. The team prepared a huge cake and lots of other baked items to celebrate the event together

Bravofly 2 year celebration