With travel shops and a very user-friendly website, market leader D-Reizen is a frontrunner in combining and integrating online and offline sales and service. Reflex Appointment XL forms an important component.
Appointment module increases client satisfaction
Online appointment at D-reizen more often results in a booking
‘The appointment module increases client satisfaction, as the personal attention and sincere interest provide a positive feeling. Therefore, an online appointment often leads to a booking.’ That is what Ferry Kurver, information manager at D-reizen says. The integration of online and store sales of excursions at D-reizen will also be incorporated at the new merger partner VakantieXperts.
Personal attention is paramount at D-reizen, one of the largest and most versatile players in the Dutch travel world. The company of the ‘Dirk van den Broek’ family combines approximately two hundred travel stores with a client contact center and a user-friendly website for online bookings. Part of the integration between online and store sales is the appointment module of Reflex.
Personal travel assistant
When making an online appointment, the client actually directly looks in the calendar of an employee in a local store of D-reizen. The client has freedom of choice and the employee of D-reizen becomes the ‘personal travel assistant’ who actually knows the client.
After a successful pilot in five stores, the Reflex appointment software was smoothly implemented in all of the stores of D-Reizen in the fall of 2012, to the full satisfaction of Ferry Kurver and his team. ‘Our functional manager collaborated intensively with the project leader of Reflex. Therefore, the pace remained high, matters were coordinated quickly, and a few minor changes could be implemented. The collaboration was, and still is, very pleasant.’
Attention for employees
The module is user-friendly, yet D-reizen has consciously spent time on the introduction. The functional manager wrote instructions based on the manual of Reflex. The employees of D-reizen subsequently attended a workshop which was narrowly linked to the work processes, paying a lot of attention to the changing role and manner of the travel assistants’ work.
‘We have already received nice reactions from clients during the pilot. Working with appointments required a different working method in the store and that took some time to get used to. It also encourages the personal travel assistant to take initiative him/herself to keep and connect the client. That fits really well with the strategy and corporate culture which D-reizen has envisaged,’ says Ferry Kurver. ‘The appointment module increases client satisfaction, as the personal attention and sincere interest result in a positive feeling. Therefore, an online appointment often leads to a booking.’
Integration of online and store sales
At the beginning of May 2014, D-reizen announced a merger with RTN, known in the Netherlands by the names VakantieXperts and Thomas Cook. The new D-RT Group is market leader in the Netherlands and is part of a large travel company from Germany. The merged company has announced that it will use the internet systems and knowledge of D-reizen and that it will apply the integration of the online and store sales in other brands.