An international travel industry leader serving 180 million customers annually in more than 300 locations, the company’s annual revenues top $40 billion, making it the largest player in the industry by both asset value and market capitalization.
Customers of even the most well-regarded travel providers are not immune from experiencing service disruptions. Reservations can get dropped, trips can get overbooked and personal belongings can go missing. But when these kinds of mishaps begin to tarnish a company’s brand, it’s time for some serious self-analysis, and so after receiving less-than-ideal scores on an industry report card, this travel provider knew it had reached a tipping point. It was time to make a serious effort to improve its service-recovery procedures, not only to engender enhanced loyalty from its customers but also to proactively improve its industry scores. Doing so, it realized it would need to provide a more meaningful experience to its customers.
As part of an industry that typically compensates poor service with points or vouchers, the company was seeking a better way to serve its inconvenienced customers. Looking at its breakage data, the company found that only 60 percent of customers who were offered a more traditional compensation actually used it. It also noted that most complaints were submitted via email, two weeks after an incident occurred. With customers stewing over a bad experience for 14 days, the company wanted to ensure its customers were receiving the attention they needed – and fast.
And so the company asked themselves this question: how can we neutralize a negative situation while coming out on the other side with our brand intact and our customer base contented?
To create a more meaningful, fulfilling experience for its customers, the company turned to Connexions Loyalty’s incentive manager tool, MotivEngine, specifically with its Customer Care department. For customers who experience a non-weather-related travel service issue (read: an issue where the organization could have controlled the outcome), the travel leader used MotivEngine to design a response that allowed Customer Care associates the option of offering a goodwill gesture, made available through a branded, white-labeled version of the product. Our MotivEngine tool was set-up to provide an array of gift cards that could be tailored to a variety of customer situations (e.g. based on customer membership status, the financial implications of the incident, etc.).
MotivEngine was seamlessly integrated into the company’s web service-based tool, making for a smooth transition for its customer service agents. Rather than selecting some pre-determined compensation for the customer, agents can rectify a poor experience by letting customers choose how they want to be compensated, whether it be a gift card, eCertificate, points or vouchers.
Compared to a 60 percent usage rate of points and vouchers, the company is now seeing an 85 percent usage rate, which includes gift cards from popular name-brand merchants. Customer commentary on social media also has shown an increase in conversation about the company’s gift card options as part of its service recovery process.
Customer feedback, from the Twittersphere:
The implementation of MotivEngine, alongside other customer care improvements, helped the organization move from #11 to #2 in one of the industry’s most comprehensive studies of performance and quality.
To further engage with Connexions Loyalty and to get the most use out of MotivEngine, the company has piloted additional ways to use the incentive manager, and other departments within the company have begun to consider how the tool can be incorporated into other areas of the organization.