An offer hard to refuse
To constantly provide excellent customer service and optimize operational processes at the same time is a major challenge facing travel agencies today. We talk to Josefin Landerberg of American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) to hear how Amadeus Offers has made life easier for agents and their customers.
After a stint traveling overseas, Josefin Landerberg returned to Sweden in the mid-Nineties and joined the team at Nyman & Schultz, which later became American Express GBT. "18 years later, here I am in the same place, same company and it's still fun," she says."My job has evolved over the years from being a travel consultant to exploring ways to improve the way the travel consultants do their job and serve customers. Time is spinning so quickly and as employees and business we have to keep up and keep improving. This keeps our industry exciting."
Today, Landerberg is regional learning partner for the Nordics & EMEA at American Express GBT tasked with training staff on how to use new tools and processes.
A win-win for agents and travelers
After being in the business for so long, Landerberg is no stranger to Amadeus' solutions. Yet, it's Amadeus Offers which is really piquing her interest at the moment. American Express GBT began using Amadeus Offers for air in 2015 and added hotels and car rental in 2016. She sees the solution as a godsend to make life easier for both customers and travel agents.
With Amadeus Offers, we can easily send them an automatic email with an offer for air, hotel and car rental.
"Our customers are busy people. Often on the go. They want to review their travel options when they have a quiet moment sitting in a taxi or waiting for a plane, for example. With Amadeus Offers, we can easily send them an automatic email with an offer for air, hotel and car rental," she explains.
American Express GBT combines Amadeus Offers with Amadeus' Cross-selling application. So, if the customer has a stopover, then the Amadeus system scans the ticket and sends a hotel suggestion if it discovers that the traveler has not booked accommodation. "This is a good solution for the customer as it reminds them they need a hotel. Then, they can just reply to the agent and book a hotel, following their company policy. It's also good for us as it helps us sell more - sometimes direct sales on the suggestion or sometimes the customer calls us back looking for alternatives," says Landerberg.
A more efficient customer service
This process is a far cry from the way things were done in the past. "Before, we used to call the traveler, consult with him/her and then create an offer – manually copying and pasting the various travel options into the email. Often, by the time the customer called back, we had to start the whole process again," Landerberg recalls.
Implementing Amadeus Offers, says Landerberg, required instructor-led sessions in the beginning as it was something new that nobody had heard of. "We had to drive it quite hard, keeping up the training momentum and constantly sharing snippets of information. But, by the time we added hotels and car rental, it was much easier as our staff already knew the basics, saw all the benefits and were eager to start."
Looking towards the future, Landerberg has a clear idea about what she wants – and where we hopefully will be: "Imagine a traveler could just press a button on the email offer to instantly validate and confirm his or her trip. This would be groundbreaking as there would be even less manual work involved for us and I think our customers would love it too."
About Amadeus Offers
Amadeus Offers allows travel agents to create, store and exchange several options for air, car rental and hotels for travelers. It takes just a few clicks or entries to email the offer to the customer, reducing the manual workload.
The Offer includes a summary of different fares, baggage allowance etc. so that the traveler can make a decision. There is also an “Accept Offer” button so the customer does not need to phone or email to accept the offer. Once accepted, the chosen option is automatically placed on the assigned queue at the travel agency, where the proposal is confirmed and converted into a final booking in a single transaction.
The Offer Notice can be fully branded with the agency’s logo and visual profile.