Travel retailer ThomasCook.com has deployed a hosted customer relationship management service as part of a six-month project to provide a single view of its customers and improve customer support.
Andrew Doe, e-commerce director at ThomasCook.com, said the aim was to drive customers to complete bookings online, rather than by telephone, for example. Part of this process has involved establishing a dedicated web support team.
An analytics engine, which is part of the CRM system from supplier RightNow, captures customer information during service interactions which can be then be used for tailored marketing communication based on a customer's historical preferences.
A trial project began in 2004. Doe said ThomasCook.com assessed the benefits of RightNow, by looking at metrics such as the change in customer call patterns and the volume of transactions through the website. The full roll-out took two months, and required little development work.
Minimising developer effort was a key reason for ThomasCook.com opting for a hosted CRM service. "We are in a phase of significant growth in web traffic," said Doe.
"We needed to work with a solution we could deploy quickly and get significant support from the supplier, given limited resources internally."
Doe plans to integrate the RightNow software with booking systems over the next six months and provide context-sensitive links on the website to simplify the booking process.