Innovation is now more critical than ever for business success and improving the customer experience, says Campus Travel’s General Manager, Melissa Elf.
Flight Centre Travel Group’s (FCTG) corporate division, which includes Campus Travel, is a finalist in the 2018 Australian Travel Awards ‘Innovation’ category. The company was also named one of the top 20 most innovative ASX200 companies.
The top 20 innovation list was compiled by Campus Collective, a consulting firm that has analysed ASX200 companies using their annual reports, company announcements and documented evidence of revenues from new products that did not exist five years ago.
Melissa said Campus Travel was acutely aware of how important innovation was to the future of academic travel.
“A lot of the feedback we receive from customers via client meetings and surveys is around technology and innovation. We believe the conversations we are having with clients about enhancing processes or programs, is critical for the development of technology – how it looks, how it works and how it will ultimately help to improve the customer experience,” Melissa said.
“Customers are looking to us for guidance on how innovation and new technologies are redefining the online booking and expense management experience as well as the reporting process.”
Melissa said academic and research organisations were looking to their travel providers for guidance on how they can use new technology to transform their programs and take them to the next level of efficiency.
“Whether this is through a new online booking tool, more in-depth reporting and analytics or being able to provide bespoke travel management solutions – clients are keen to learn what is next in the travel sector and what these developments mean for them. Clients are interested in strategies that will help to transform their travel programs and travel providers that can take clients on this journey successfully, are being looked upon favourably.
“The travel industry is one of the sectors that continues to be in a constant state of flux, with rapid technological change and service disruptors entering the market constantly … this means innovation and the ability to adapt is critical for business success.”
Campus Travel recently launched to market a revolutionary, new online booking tool ‘Savi’, which harnesses the very latest in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Savi’s unique functionality provides a personal and tailored experience for different users and also includes travel options and modules that are exclusive to FCTG.
“The product will totally change the way our customers are interacting with and booking their travel online,” Melissa said.
Melissa added Campus Travel had also released the mobile app Sam (Smart Assistant for Mobile), a pocket travel assistant that employs a blend of artificial intelligence and integrated consultant support to help travellers with everything from itinerary management to bookings, service and support.
“This year has been extremely busy for our company in the innovation space,” Melissa said. “Our work has been about pinpointing customer travel pain points and creating products or technology that helps to solve these issues. Whether it be communicating with travellers on the go, capturing more data to boost your analytics or creating an entirely new online booking experience – innovation is key and we’re thrilled to have been recognised in the ASX200 top 20 companies for innovation.”