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New chat support function for travel agents

3 February, 2011
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Today we launched  a new and exciting chat function on the Hurtigruten Travel Agent Booking Solution. Our goal is to make it easy, convenient and safe for our travel agent partners to book Hurtigruten voyages!

New chat function for our travel agents

To assist agents, a new help button appears to the left when you are logged in.

Travel Agent Solution

Starting a chat is easy

When our support agents are online,  partners can chat directly with us. If none of our agents are logged in, you can still send an e-mail request and we will answer your question as soon as we can.

Get help with your booking

The chat window helps you before, during, and after your booking. You can move the chat window around or close it. Our goal is to make it easy, quick and safe for our valued travel agent partners to make bookings.

Why online chat?

Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for travel agents to do business with us. We believe that we should use all channels to achieve this. Of course our goal is to offer agents a complete self-service function, but we also know that the “personal touch” is key to getting people to book online. Research shows that online chat can greatly increase the conversion rate of e-commerce websites (up to 40%!) and increases satisfaction levels.

  • 27% of Ecommerce Sites Surveyed said that those customer that engage in a live chat more than 40% convert into a sale or an active lead while 50% reported a conversion rate of 20% or more.
  • 69% of respondents said that live chat now formed a critical part of their business.
  • 64% responded that live chat enabled them to deliver quality service in a cost-effective manner and that it gave them a significant competitive advantage.

A Forrester Consulting study from August 2010, indicates that the ROI for online chat and click to call is 301%. They estimate the payback period to be 1,2 months.

Another reason why we need online chat is to remove a big barrier for people that choose not to book online. Research from 2009, shows that the top reason for not booking online is that people want to work with a live person/agent.

That’s why we wanted a chat function. In the future we will hopefully launch this on our consumer websites as well!

How does the online chat work?`

Hurtigruten uses technology from Snapengage to power our chat functionality. It’s easy to install and it works with existing chat solutions (Google talk and soon Skype). This means that it requires little training to get our call center agents up and running with the new chat functionality. Moving forward, we will share success stories and also challenges we face with the chat solution. Please send us feedback on how this functionality works.

Sources:

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Steven permalink*
    4 February, 2011 08:05

    Great blog post!
    We finally have a stable and user friendly chat service that can support out partners throughout the booking process in B2B.

    It’s a shame that our initial chat service was not successful but the new system has our full backing and having tested it several times within the last few days, it is quick, stable, and our experienced team are always at hand to deliver an answer.

    We are looking forward to hearing feedback from all users.

  2. 4 February, 2011 13:10

    Just received initial feedback from an agent in Finland:

    “Thank you Harri so much for your help! Can you also tell me, how come you decided to ask me if I would need help? Can you read my thoughts? This chat is really good!! /—/ This is a really good service!! There should be this kind of feature in all agent-booking systems!”

    Mind-reading features are yet to implemented, but this was done by using the pro-active feature provided by Snapengage. It means that the chat pops up automatically after a certain amount time of inactivity on the page. This feature is something that should be discussed though, as some users may not be comfortable with pop-ups, even though it’s only there for their own good. So any comments about this are very welcome.

    And thanks for the feedback to Kuggom, Finland!

  3. 4 February, 2011 13:22

    Nice feedback. We should avoid being to pushy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YkPn3SewEXs (tip from Harri)

  4. Marie Nordin permalink
    4 February, 2011 15:19

    The chat function is great for me as an agent when I need help. I get answers and help from you almost immidiately every time I ask for anything.

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Trackbacks

  1. How to build a fast-moving webteam « Hurtigruten Web team Blog
  2. Solid utvikling i online booking for Hurtigruten – Stammen.no
  3. Online Travel Agents vs. High Street Travel Agents | Travelling Information Tips and Resources

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