Technology transformation has been a strategic focus area for Thomas Cook India, a leading travel agency of the country. Headquartered in Mumbai, the company offers a range of travel services, such as travel insurance, foreign exchange, international and domestic holidays, visa, passport, etc. The company has been driving automation and catalysing efficiencies as well as productivity across channels through it innovative use of technological solutions such as the customer relationship management (CRM) software. This has helped it acquire more customers, which is one of the toughest parts of this industry.
“This was a major challenge. Another challenge was to enable cross-sell and upsell, retargeting anonymous leads and ultimately reducing overall cost of acquisition. There was a need to reduce costs on call center activities as well,” says Amit Madhan, CIO, Thomas Cook.
The company had been looking for ways and means to enhance customer experience and engagement by converting leads, connecting old customers, and increasing footfalls.
According to him, his team devised an innovative strategy, which included integrating CRM, web, app and consumer analytics with an AI and Machine learning-based marketing automation platform. The project provided a unified view of the user and helped in effective customer engagement. Web and app integration tracked the browsing pattern of the consumer, while CRM provided additional data points as updated by the call center team on interaction with the consumer. The two types of users, customers, and prospects were treated differently with personalized communication done via email, SMS, web message, and browser push notifications.
Significant Business Impact Due to Technology
The project changed the way Thomas Cook approached its universe of users, both past as well as current customers and prospective ones. Since the company operates in both retail and e-commerce channels, prospective and current customers of one channel, interested in buying from the other, were seamlessly shifted through the use of the platform. The new marketing automation platform helped in personalizing communication to prospective ones as well as current customers depending on the stage of their purchase cycle/customer life cycle.
The strategy has paid off rich dividends for the company. According to Madhan, the project has been able to generate approx. 90,000 highly qualified inquiries and generated a revenue of around Rs. 16 crore at a very low cost of acquisition.
“Lead generation via data-driven campaigns increased three times. The project opened up new channels and the latest technologies to communicate with the user,” adds the CIO.
The project also helped reduce the cost of campaigns through effective usage of marketing automation platform to generate smart segments on the go and help targeted communications to the right users.