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How This Travel Brand Provides Personalized Customer Experience in the Wake of Industry Upheaval

When it comes to travel disruption, Travix has seen it all. Thanks to help from Freshworks, the company still delivers exceptional customer service.

The travel industry has been on a proverbial roller coaster ride for the last few years. All types of travel ground to a halt during the early days of COVID-19. And even as people began venturing out again to see the world, unforeseen economic factors like supply chain issues and staffing difficulties have periodically forced flights and other modes of transportation to shut down or into delays. The entire experience has been exhausting—for travel-related businesses and their customers.

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No one knows these hardships better than the team at Travix, a Netherlands-based global online travel company. Operating in 39 countries with five brands, over 40 websites, and more than 400 employees, Travix has felt the [pain] of industry disruption.

"During the initial months of the COVID-19 outbreak, international travel dropped by about 75 per cent globally in 2020," explains Kim Strickland, Travix's Global CO Communications Manager. "Travix was buried under a mountain of manual work like booking cancellations, changes, and refund requests piled high. There was no end in sight to the number of backlogged needs our customers experienced during that first year of the Covid-19 outbreak. Our company was confronted with its Goliath."

Under normal circumstances, Travix's customer service team might have as many as 1,000 refund requests in its backlog. Within months during COVID, that backlog grew unmanageably large to over 500,000 requests, seemingly overnight. With its call center volumes breaking record numbers, the Travix team desperately wondered how it was going to make it through.

And with travel blackouts persisting even today, one might expect Travix to have hit its breaking point long ago. But Travix wasn't going to let industry disruptions derail its operations.

Travix turned its attention to the scalable benefits of automation.

The first step was for the Travix engineering team to develop solutions that help automate cancellations and booking changes—two tasks that otherwise had been done manually and were repetitive and time consuming.

From there, Travix leaned on an existing partner to get the ongoing help it needed with customer interactions. Travix had already been using CX software from Freshworks for several years to improve customers' and the agents' experiences of customer service. In Spring 2021, Travix expanded their use of Freshworks software to include their bundled customer service product, Freshdesk Omnichannel Suite, drawn in particular to the bundle's enhanced chatbot. Within the first full year of its release, their new chatbot rivaled Travix's email channel for incoming inquiries at about 46 percent of their customer service volume.

"We've taken a giant turn in our customer service strategy as a result of the success of working with Freshworks," Strickland says. "Our chatbot, powered by Freshchat, has been pivotal in our ability to serve our customers with common service needs, which frees up our agents to focus on more complicated inquiries. As a result, it's become a reliable servicing channel and we embrace it as the preferred channel over email and phone."

Between the newly automated processes and use of Freshchat, Strickland says Travix's customer service agents handle approximately 30 percent fewer requests, freeing them up to handle the remaining issues and provide better overall service. The extra time allows Travix customer service agents to provide personalized assistance and spend more time on the more difficult issues, doing their best to find positive resolutions.

A more scalable future.

Today, Travix's refund request backlog that once topped 500,000 stands at zero. It fills up, of course, but the Travix team has the right tools and systems in place now to handle it.

"I don't think anyone believes that great service was attainable in the travel industry during the unprecedented times like we've had recently. What the Freshworks chatbot allowed us to do was to move forward. And move forward, we did," Strickland says.

As the company continues to scale, Strickland says Travix will embrace more personalized products and services to orchestrate to a smooth customer experience for all their valued travelers. "This is at the heart of our business and a driving force for each of our employees," she says. "And our experience with Freshworks has taught us that they are committed to providing companies like Travix—big and small alike—with the tools needed to make it a reality."

Click here to learn more about how Freshworks can help take your customer service operation to the next level.

Freshworks

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