The Travel Corporation consolidates data and enhances customer service
Travel business creates a central data governance program and delivers unified customer profiles in real time with SAS® DataFlux® technology.
The Travel Corporation (TTC) is a collection of international travel and tourism companies offering an extensive selection of holiday options across the globe. Its portfolio includes escorted touring, premier independent holiday companies, luxury hotels and other leisure options. TTC interacts with customers through its website, call centers and a network of travel agency partners.
Struggling to manage multiple sources of data
TTC is composed of numerous brands, each with its own customer data from a variety of reservation systems. With so much disparate information, TTC needed technology to monitor business rules across systems and supply data management services to its various brands.
The multiple brands made it difficult for TTC to maintain consistent, high-quality customer service. Since customer information was collected at a variety of touch points, TTC needed to centralize and standardize the data to provide a single customer view across the organization. This view could then help the business improve its customer experience, enable targeted marketing and provide innovative partner communication services for travel agencies. In addition, TTC wanted to develop real-time web services for customers accessing information through any channel, thus personalizing customer transactions.
Building business rules to improve processes
With the goal of improving, standardizing and centralizing data, TTC implemented SAS DataFlux technology to help it build business rules. Through an intuitive user interface, the technology helped streamline and validate data from TTC's brands, allowing the business to build single profiles of customers, travel agency partners and travel agents across the organization.
TTC also adopted the SAS DataFlux Integration Server, which allowed new business rules to be replicated across the organization using an SOA framework. This implementation enabled TTC to understand and recognize its customers throughout the business process and across multiple channels, even if they were customers of another TTC brand or if they previously booked through a travel agency partner.
TTC used the SAS DataFlux Data Governance Maturity Model when planning its data governance organization. The model guided the organization toward appointing data stewards to monitor data quality as well as involving a range of business stakeholders to define data standards and secure executive sponsorship.
Understanding the customer promotes better service
By establishing a data governance system to improve, monitor and control data from across TTC's brands – and creating a real-time SOA environment – the company now has a better understanding of customers through its multiple channels. TTC can remit qualified sales leads to the appropriate travel agency to enable consistency and drive revenue.
The improvements in TTC's customer data have benefitted its travel agency partners through the newly launched ePartner program. The company can now relate customers to their booking travel agent (at all customer touch points, including TTC's own websites), which has enabled jointly branded communications such as client feedback forms, offers to check in online, travel information and promotions.
Finally, establishing a single customer view improved overall service delivery throughout the travel experience. For example, TTC brands can add personal information, such as dietary requirements, and the company can automatically deliver a personalized thank-you communication post-trip.
"We've made the data governance journey side-by-side with SAS – from the initial batch data quality improvements to the sophisticated and governed environment we have today," says Alan Cox, TTC Director of Information Management. "The really exciting area for us is the ability to understand exactly who a customer is, no matter how they choose to interact with us or which of our brands they have dealt with in the past. It's this insight that's driving innovation in joint partner communications and the customer experience."
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