Part of what makes Travelocity stand out in the fiercely competitive travel market is its focus on the customer. Kathy Petrovic, vice president of global operations for Travelocity Business, talks to Mila D'Antonio about customer service tools, tactics, and strategies to improve the corporate travel customer experience in this podcast excerpt.
You say that good customer service allows business to succeed...What are you seeing in terms of new trends in
automation that might allow employees to focus more on customers?
What we've heard from our customers is that they want us to push information to the travelers within their organization.
We've created push-up technology, such as online traveler statements, so that travelers can easily compile their
expense reports, as well as online refund notifications, so they know refunds have been processed. We can send
out various notifications regarding their travel as far as itinerary, or any updates to an itinerary that can be sent
How does just adding a little bit of information affect the customer relationship in the long run?
For those of us who are road warriors, we want to be able to go to the airport, get on the airplane, get to where we're
going, and come home. That's what the good experience is about. With all the ease that's been put into travel with
advances like the kiosk, the minute you have to stop and go to the counter to get additional assistance it adds to
your travel day. I believe that adds to a poor experience. Anything we can do to give additional information up front so
that the traveler knows that everything is in order for their trip leads to a good experience.
What advice do you have for other organizations for ways to understand their customers and improve the services or
I think the important thing is to listen to customers. They all have business issues, and if you listen carefully you'll
see they're easy problems that can be solved with technology and creativity. It's important not to assume that any one
business problem has to stay a constant issue within travel, or outside of travel. We've been able to put technology
around these things very rapidly just by utilizing creativity and thinking outside the box.
A lot of it for us is arming our agents with information. A big part for us is making sure that agents are trained on
a particular corporation and understand its culture. We've also gone to specialization within our call centers so that
the person taking a call is the right person to be taking it, whether it's a domestic reservation, international
reservation, relocation services, or VIP. When it comes to providing VIP services, we take the time to meet with the
executive at that corporation so we understand exactly what the needs of their employees are so we can anticipate
before they call.
To hear more about Travelocity Business's challenges and best practices, listen to the 1to1 on the run podcast, "Travelocity Business Meets Customer Needs."