“Before the app, around 25% of contact-center calls were about compensation. Now it’s less than 5%.”
Providing a fast response to queries is particularly important when customers’ travel plans have been disrupted. In October 2015, Eurostar launched a first for the travel industry: an app that enables customers to request their compensation in just four clicks. “Customers love it! There were some great Tweets on go-live day,” said Shaw. “All eligible customers can now receive their compensation in less than 24 hours – they used to have to wait between four and six weeks.”
As a result, Eurostar’s contact-center agents only have to cope with disruption-related queries on the day, rather than dealing with the fallout for the next three months, which makes their job much more enjoyable. “Before the app, around 25% of contact-center calls were about compensation. Now it’s less than 5%,” added Shaw.
Built on the Salesforce Platform, the new app hasn’t just saved time; it’s saved money. With more detailed information on customer journeys, the compensation team can now issue tailored e-vouchers that reflect the level of disruption experienced. This has reduced Eurostar’s compensation liability by up to $6 million a year.
The company has also developed a second app on the Salesforce Platform and the Lightning Platform to help passengers make alternative arrangements when travel is disrupted. “With free Wi-Fi available on all our new trains, customers can use the app to plan ahead rather than waiting to be assigned a hotel or taxi when they arrive at their destination,” he said. “By helping customers to help themselves we can ensure they’re in the know and in control.”
As of spring 2017, Eurostar’s customers will also be able to self-serve using an online resource powered by Service Cloud Knowledge. The knowledge bank, which is already available to staff, contains more than 250 articles on common queries, such as traveling with pets and booking international connections.
Every customer interaction on the apps — and other channels — is captured in personal customer profiles in Service Cloud. “Our office-based staff already have a 360-degree view of the customer; we’re now extending this to our teams based at stations and on trains,” said Shaw.
As customer relationships develop, preferences can be added to the profiles, which helps the contact-center team sell additional services, such as hotel accommodation, car hire, and insurance. Taking a more centralized approach has already helped Eurostar reduce the length of some calls with its Frequent Travelers by 70%.
Since deploying Service Cloud in 2014, Eurostar has been able to retire at least eight of the systems previously used by its contact center, with 80% of customer queries now handled through the solution.
Eventually all customer-facing staff, including business lounge hosts and train managers, will be able to view every customer detail from their iPads and other mobile devices. “Our customer-facing teams will be able to see if a passenger has experienced any disruption, and address any remaining concerns,” added Shaw.