Growing fast isn’t easy – particularly in the travel industry. Holidu, the Munich-based vacation rental site, and its sister company Bookiply - built for owners to easily manage their vacation properties - know this better than most.
Despite a difficult year for the industry, the businesses remain two of the fastest-growing start-ups in Germany, and are looking ahead to further expansion in 2021. Central to this strategy is their customer service team, who deal with bookings from all over Europe on a daily basis.
We caught up with Darius Abde-Yazdani, Managing Director at Bookiply, as well as with Johannes Rahn and Erika Lovisetto, who manage the customer service team as a shared service between both companies, to understand their challenges – and how they’ve utilised Aircall in overcoming them.
Efficiency is the top priority
One of the main tasks Darius faced was unifying the systems used by both companies in order to streamline processes and create new efficiencies for the customer services team in particular. Initially using different sets of communication tools, he needed to find a solution that could integrate easily with the operating systems of each business.
While using email and WhatsApp regularly, voice remained the integral channel for both Bookiply and Holidu. The team have established that customers value its directness, particularly when it comes to more sensitive aspects of their bookings. Keeping it front-and-centre, using tools that communicated with each other, was paramount.
“We had grown to have so many different tools that didn’t speak to each other”, says Darius. ”We went through a process of rationalization, and started considering integrations capabilities as a key criteria for all tools we use. From here, Aircall emerged as a clear and credible option for everything we needed”.
Flexibility meets integration
The two priorities on the integration front were Pipedrive and Zendesk, critical for both sales and customer service teams. For sales, Pipedrive means they can access all important information from both homeowners and customers is one place – something that has streamlined their operations further – and having a voice platform that seamlessly plugs into it was non-negotiable.
It was the same for customer service and Zendesk, as Johannes looked to continue to create efficiencies across the team’s approach:
“The Aircall Zendesk integration has allowed us to kill manual work and save time, since all key information is automatically entered into Zendesk for ticket creation, and we can easily keep track.”
The seasonality of the travel industry also requires a high degree of flexibility when it comes to managing team resource and inbound customer requests. Different working hours, not to mention creating new numbers and IVR trees, play a defining role in the team’s ability to hit targets.
“If you set up your IVR messages right, you can help customers find solutions to their questions without speaking to them”, says Johannes. “This not only helps us keep call volumes under control, but helps customers find answers faster too.”
Best-in-class onboarding equals fast adoption
As the team continued to grow, the ability to onboard staff swiftly became another must-have for both businesses. During initial conversations with Aircall, this was something that was highlighted as a key requirement, and the teams from both businesses were delighted in how easy everything was to get started – with the five minutes it took to integrate both Pipedrive and Zendesk being a particular highlight.
Moreover, although training often takes time and so does adoption, Aircall helped keeping the process as simple and effective as possible, with the entire team up and running on the platform “in no time”, according to Darius. This was backed up by Erika, who stated:
“Aircall is overall super user friendly, and the onboarding phase went very quickly. Almost nobody came back asking for further explanation – to me, that is the best feature by far. It doesn’t take long for an agent to know how to use it, so we don’t lose any time.”
A partner to grow with
If growth is hard to achieve for a business, maintaining that growth is even harder. For both Holidu and Bookiply, finding business partners that can help support them continually reach the next stage in their journey is crucial – particularly as their needs are always evolving.
For Darius, this is another area where Aircall sets itself apart:
“Aircall understands how important it is to hear from customers like us, and to make us feel welcome as a partner. That’s the feeling I get every time I speak to anyone on the Aircall team – they take the time to understand what the problems are, and what the most suitable way to solve them is. It’s special – I really feel that we are growing together”.
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