Online customer service specialist Transversal claims to have cut the average response time to customer queries by a leading UK cruise operator from four days to just 24 hours.
Transversal’s self-service software has been used by Carnival UK, the parent of P&O Cruises and Cunard, to offer a more efficient and comprehensive online question answering facility.
This has seen the number of email queries fall significantly, allowing staff to answer the more complex questions from agents and customers that come through to them more quickly.
Transversal was first rolled out to the operator’s contact centre in December 2009 before a trade roll out to agents in October 2010 and finally direct to the consumer at the beginning of this year.
The system allows users to find answers to common questions quickly by keying in questions via the help function on each website using conversational language.
Answers to over 2,500 common questions are stored in a knowledge base which is continually updated and every month queried 50,000 times by customers, 750 P&O Cruises and Cunard staff and several thousand travel agents.
The implementation coincided with a near doubling of visitors to the P&O Cruises website in 2011 compared to a comparable period last year.
Giles Hawke, sales and customer services director at Carnival UK, said: “The fact that 50,000 questions are now answered every month by the system shows that customers, staff and travel agents are getting service and value.
“It has become critical since our extended marketing initiatives are making a big difference in terms of hits to the website. Providing customers with the ability to serve themselves via the website means that contact centre staff are better equipped to deal directly with sales enquiries.
“An additional advantage is that we are able to analyse the questions customers ask. Interestingly, we know that the most common questions relate to dress code on board, which is information that wasn’t captured before.
“The Transversal solution provides us with valuable insight into our customer’s main concerns, and a gold mine of marketing information that enables us to further innovate our services based on real customer feedback.”