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Carnival UK waves in new era of customer service with Transversal

Carnival UK waves in new era of customer service with Transversal

Carnival UK, the travel giant behind brands such as P&O Cruises and Cunard, has streamlined its customer service operation by using a new web self-service solution from software provider Transversal. Since implementing the Transversal solution, Carnival has dramatically decreased email enquiries meaning that its P&O Cruises and Cunard operations have slashed response times from four days to just 24 hours.

The Transversal solution enables 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 2500 common questions are stored in a "knowledgebase" which is continually updated and queried approximately 50,000 times every month by customers that research online, by 750 P&O Cruises and Cunard staff (mainly within the contact centre) and by several thousand travel agents across the UK.

The implementation coincides with an extensive marketing campaign by P&O Cruises and Cunard to attract customers. This has seen a near doubling of visitors to its P&O Cruises website in 2011 compared with a comparable period last year. Using Transversal has meant that more customers can answer their own questions via the website, taking the strain from P&O Cruises' and Cunard’s contact centre staff who can now spend more time dealing with new sales and areas where the human element is really needed.

Giles Hawke, Sales and Customer Services Director at P&O Cruises, explains: “The new Transversal self-help function has caught on quickly. 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 from the flexibility and ease of use the Transversal solution brings. 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.

Hawke continues: “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 customers' main concerns, and a gold mine of marketing information that enables us to further innovate our services based on real customer feedback.”

Davin Yap, CEO of Transversal, said: “Web self-service means that customers and partners can get to the information they want far quicker than using traditional keyword search or by phoning the contact centre. This enables contact centre staff to concentrate on more complex queries – particularly important when we’re talking about a high value sale such as a cruise.”

Users can access the service by visiting P&O advice centre or Ask Cunard. There is also additional information for travel agents at a dedicated travel agent portal.