Bunnik Tours

Salesforce has helped us personalise all of our different touchpoints and connect with customers in ways that we never even thought were possible three or four years ago.”

Catherine Kelly, Chief Marketing Officer, Bunnik Travel Group

Bunnik Travel Group charts new territories using Salesforce

As a small group tour provider, Bunnik Travel Group aims to provide people with a better way to see the world and have more authentic experiences. Its tours offer a perfect balance between organised sightseeing and independent discovery, and are limited to groups of no more than 20. This means travellers can spend less time waiting and more time exploring.

“Our aim is to connect people with each other and the world around them, and we believe the best way to achieve that is through touring with small groups,” said Catherine Kelly, Chief Marketing Officer, Bunnik Travel Group. “It allows you to venture off the beaten tourist track and engage more with the locals, benefitting the local economy directly.”

The company’s approach to travel has proved popular and its first business, Bunnik Tours, has experienced 20% YoY growth in recent years. Today, the group is set to grow even further after future-proofing operations and scaling customer engagement using Salesforce.

Managing the unpredictability of travel

Before implementing Salesforce, Bunnik Travel Group used a number of disparate systems to manage bookings, tours and interactions amongst employees and customers. This made it difficult to get a consolidated view of customers and sales, and presented unnecessary risks for the tour company.

“When you work in travel, you’re operating at the whims of certain things that are outside of your control like illness, an ash cloud or government unrest,” explained Kelly. “So when we took a step back and looked at how we could future-proof the business, we decided to change how we were using technology to give us more transparency and allow us to react quickly to these types of situations.”

The group needed a cloud-based solution that would allow employees across the globe to access and collaborate on the same data in real-time. It chose Salesforce because it provided a leading platform to power marketing, sales, service and more.

Tailored journeys drive clicks and sales

Bunnik Travel Group began rolling out Salesforce two years ago, and one of the first teams to jump on board was Bunnik Tours’ marketing team. “With our previous marketing tool, we were sending out emails without any personalisation so we were excited to dive into Marketing Cloud and learn how we could segment our lists and create more compelling campaigns,” said Kelly.

The team is now using Journey Builder to power 1:1 communications and nurture leads along the purchase path. This includes emails tailored to destinations that they’ve researched previously. Open rates for these emails average 55-70% compared to a total absence of tailored messaging prior. Click-through rates are typically between 5 - 10%.

Marketing has adopted Social Studio to listen, publish and engage with audiences across the group’s different social channels. It streamlines planning and reporting, and helps the team stay on top of what people are saying about the company and its competitors.

“Salesforce has helped us personalise all of our different touchpoints and connect with customers in ways that we never even thought were possible three or four years ago,” said Kelly. “We’re now using it in the US to target audiences in different states and get the most out of our spend on digital.”

Building a new brand on Salesforce

Bunnik Travel Group has only recently launched into the US with a new brand called Small Group Touring Co. This new venture was born out of the success that the group has experienced using Salesforce and the opportunity to further its growth globally.

“Bunnik Tours was created for Australian travellers, but we realised others were enjoying this type of travel just as much and there was an opportunity for us to really own this space globally,” said Kelly.

With the help of Salesforce Success Cloud, Small Group Touring Co has been built with the foundations to scale. Huge efficiencies have been achieved by using Heroku to integrate the brand's booking system and website, so when new tours are added to the booking system they are automatically published to the website. This is significant as the process of manually adding hundreds of tours across two platforms was not only time consuming but prone to error.

“Having just one place to update information reduces our workload immensely and makes our growth more sustainable,” said Kelly. “It also means we don't need to log onto multiple platforms to get one sense of the truth.”

Small Group Touring Co is also benefiting from the group's marketing transformation and is using Marketing Cloud to tailor its communication and build trust with new markets. It has also integrated Salesforce with TrustPilot to solicit customer reviews and publish these on its website.

Streamlining service and collaboration

Both Bunnik Tours and Small Group Touring Co are continuing to extend their use of Salesforce. Sales reps are using Sales Cloud to nurture relationships with travel agents and customers. Customer Care staff are using Service Cloud to manage inquiries from customers booked for travel.

With everyone working on one platform, there's much more transparency of data and the company is more united. Quip has been especially valuable in aiding collaboration and is used to manage projects internally and connect with partners all around the globe in real-time.

“Establishing Small Group Touring Co has involved employees working and travelling across the globe and Quip has been fundamental to our collaboration and we really love it here; it lets everyone see what's going on in Sales, Marketing and Product and work together on the same documents,” said Kelly.

Reporting from Salesforce adds to the increased transparency across departments and has given the company deeper insights into customers, helping to transform their customer experience. “Now that all our applications and data are connected across the ecosystem, we have that transparency we set out to achieve and everything is much easier,” said Kelly. “They key question we ask now about any new system is whether it integrates with Salesforce.”


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