3rd - Apr - 2018

CPaaS and the Travel Sector – Booking.com Case Study

The rise of social communication has completely redefined how we communicate with our friends and family. Once the phone call was king. However, the emergence of SMS, followed later by OTT-messaging applications like WhatsApp, have laid the foundations for a more instantaneous and richer form of communication.

The net effect of this is that increasingly, consumers now expect to be able to engage with brands and businesses in the same ways that they engage with their friends. This has significant implications for enterprises; many of which now need to reassess the channels they use to engage with their consumers and employees.

This is also due to the fact that great customer service has gone from being a nice to have, to a fundamental factor in shaping our decision to choose one company over another. The decision to switch banks for example, can come down to something as simple as having to wait twenty minutes to get through to a customer service agent on the phone, against another company offering 24/7 real-time in-app chat.

When it comes to customer service, enterprises that can adapt and innovate stand to reduce customer churn and make the biggest gains in the medium to long-term.

Travel operators and CPaaS

The travel sector, like many industries, is trying to re-orientate to meet the increasing demand for ‘always on’, multichannel customer service. However, for large multinational organisations in particular, change is a slow process. Developing the infrastructure needed to support a broad range of communications formats requires significant resource and investment. As a result, many travel operators are turning to Communications Platform as a Service, or CPaaS as its more commonly known.

In fact, according to Juniper Research, total enterprise investment in CPaaS is expected to quadruple to $6.7bn by 2022, as businesses look to bring in the technology needed to attract and retain the consumer of tomorrow.

So what’s the attraction?

Built on the ‘as-a-service model’, CPaaS is a cloud based platform that enables developers to add real-time communication features (voice, video and messaging) to their own applications without needing to build backend infrastructure and interfaces. As a result, developers using CPaaS free-up a huge amount of resource, enabling them to focus solely on the development and deployment of innovative new communications applications.

Travel operator focus: Booking.com

Established in 1996 in Amsterdam, Booking.com has grown from a small Dutch start-up to one of the largest travel eCommerce companies in the world, employing more than 15,000 employees in 198 offices accross 70 countries worldwide.

The Booking.com website and mobile apps are available in over 40 languages, offer more than 1.6 million holiday properties and cover 126,000 destinations in 229 countries.

Like an increasing number of travel operators, Booking.com wanted to reduce fragmentation in the customer journey by using Sinch’s CPaaS solution to help integrate voice communication as part of the booking and customer service process.

In addition to providing a more seamless customer experience, the CPaaS solution also keeps all calls and communication within the app, discouraging users from arranging bookings outside the booking system (a source of revenue leakage).

Summary The rapid pace of technological change can be a problem for even the most agile of enterprises. New technologies and devices in turn spawn new patterns of demand, meaning that keeping pace, let alone future-proofing, can be a challenge.

With CPaaS, travel operators can embed capabilities such as video, chat and notifications into applications to address new use cases as and when they arise.

In addition, new features, updates and fixes are installed in, and accessible automatically via the cloud platform. The flexibility of CLX’s CPaaS solution allows far greater scalability, while reducing time-to-implementation.

For more information on how CPaaS can benefit your business, download our latest whitepaper in partnership with Juniper Research, entitled ‘Communications Platforms – Transforming Enterprises into Digital Innovators’.

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