Expedia, Inc. is one of the world's largest travel companies, with an extensive brand portfolio that includes leading online travel brands. The company delivers consumers value in leisure and business travel, drives incremental demand and direct bookings to travel suppliers, and provides advertisers the opportunity to reach a highly valuable audience of in-market consumers through Expedia Media Solutions. Expedia also powers bookings for some of the world's leading airlines and hotels, top consumer brands, high traffic websites, and thousands of active affiliates through Expedia Affiliate Network. For more information, visit www.expediainc.com.
When potential customers take the time to call Expedia to book a vacation, they are primed to purchase, and expect that the call center agent will have a certain level of expertise. Credibility and confidence on the part of the call center agent improves the likelihood that the caller will book the trip. Destination knowledge is important—not only in helping identify the best area and hotel for the customer, but in communicating confidence in their recommendations, up-selling attractions, and creating overall satisfaction with the travel experience.
When agents are not able to speak confidently about the locations, they may struggle in their ability to put together a package that meets the customer’s needs. While other factors were identified as affecting conversion and customer satisfaction, increased destination expertise and credibility were several of the biggest factors contributing to the booking rate. Some agents may know very little about any given destination they have never visited. Therefore, Expedia needed an e-learning strategy that would deliver more consistent training across the call center enterprise.
Expedia teamed up with Allen Interactions to create an elearning course with an interface and instructional interactivity that could be replicated for different travel destinations. For example, when an agent went through the training for a specific destination like New York City, they would open the elearning course and realize it functions similar to other destinations. Each interaction incorporated visual reinforcement, using maps, photographs, people’s expressions, postcards, and icons. Intrinsic feedback was also used in the form of callers’ changing expressions, postcards from disgruntled customers, and trip reports from happy customers.
Benefits of this elearning experience include:
Regarding users and implementation results, agents expressed eagerness for more destination sales and customer service training. Not only did the agents feel better prepared to engage with customers on the phone, customer satisfaction increased exponentially, as did sales conversion.
63% increase in overall knowledge
56% incrase in knowledge of hotels and attractions
42% increase in ability to answer customer’s questions
49% increase in knowledge of destination layout