Lastminute claims improved response to crises claims to be responding more effectively to “crisis incidents” than traditional travel firms thanks to its relationship with customer relationship management (CRM) specialist RightNow.

The RightNow infrastructure allowed lastminute to update its site in real-time following the recent bomb attacks in Majorca.

Julian Kent, senior customer service manager, said: “We can update the site within minutes of getting relevant information from the authorities. He said the ability to provide up-to-date information was essential to the online retailer’s brand. “People familiar with the site expect us to offer this level of information.”

Kent suggested was more responsive than some of the UK’s tour operators to the collapse of XL Airways last September. “We had people in resort using our ‘frequently asked questions’ page to find out what was going on,” Kent said.

Leading tour operators and airlines joined the Civil Aviation Authority in organising the biggest-ever repatriation of holidaymakers in the wake of XL’s collapse. is undertaking a trial of a live chat function for customers booking holidays, allowing them to contact someone while within the booking process. RightNow technology is also being used to enhance customer service on small-ticket items such as restaurant and event bookings.

“Customers can track their order and see if a ticket had been dispatched,” said Kent. “We can track every interaction with a customer so when he or she gets in touch with us, via whatever channel, we have their preferences stored so they don’t have to repeat themselves.” He added: Customers are no longer willing to accept substandard customer service just because a business is online.”

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