How customers guide our innovation

A travel manager using the Egencia platform

By Natasha Samuel, senior product marketing manager

Customer satisfaction is at the heart of what we do every day. Our mission is to provide the best business travel experience we can — we do this by making great customer service a top priority and letting it guide our innovation.

How do we know what our customers want? How do we ensure that what we release on our website and app makes the lives of travelers, arrangers, and travel managers easier? How do we use feedback and integrate that into innovation on our platform? 

We start with our customers. Whether it’s the traveler, arranger, or travel manager, we take feedback from everyone who uses our platform and contacts our customer service team.

Here’s how we incorporate what our customers say to consistently improve our platform.

  • Customer satisfaction surveys. After contacting customer service by phone or email, travelers are sent a survey to tell us about their experience. We do this so that we can fully understand our customers’ level of satisfaction and we review every comment to find ways to increase the quality of the customer service we provide.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS). Another way we gather feedback from travelers and arrangers is with NPS. Used by two-thirds of Fortune 1000 companies, NPS enables us to measure customer loyalty based on their experiences. In the last year, we’ve received more than  86,000 NPS responses from customers around the world. 
  • Customer success managers. With more than 400 customer success managers across the globe, we’re talking to our customers 24/7/365. Whether it’s a quick chat on the phone to check in or a formal quarterly business review, our customers have a direct line to our teams to provide feedback on every aspect of our service and technology.
  • Online feedback button and OpinionLab. With the feedback button, customers can give us their thoughts on anything from difficulties they have with our interface to how we sort and display hotel options.

In 2018, we received more than 14,000 comments from our customers around the world in over 15 languages. By implementing this sophisticated approach to gather customer data, we then categorize and analyze it and incorporate it into how we improve our platform.

OpinionLab is a leading customer feedback technology integrated into our platform. We’ve also built in the ability for anyone in the company to look at this customer feedback in Tableau reporting and dashboards. 

We’re able to dig deep into comments from individuals, visualize all the feedback, track our customers’ sentiment, and view the data by type of user (traveler, arranger, travel manager) across every aspect of the booking experience.  

Developing our platform for customers

Our product and technology teams are based in major hub cities: Seattle, Paris, Chicago, and Gurgaon, India. There are three primary ways we focus on our product and technology development.

  • Day-to-day product teams. With customer service surveys, NPS, and the feedback button, data is available to every product manager. The team is able to see what our customers think and factor this into their product release plans.Because we have access 24/7 to customer feedback, we’re able to immediately identify and resolve any issues our customers may have  with any of our technology updates.
  • 120 sprints and pitches. Every 120 days, the product and technology teams get together to review the past 120 days and the upcoming 120 days. It’s also a forum for representatives from various parts of Egencia to come and pitch enhancements. For example, our customer success teams take customer feedback, prioritize it, and make their pitches to each product team.
  • Test and learn. Like tech giants Google and Amazon, test and learn methodology enables SaaS and technology companies to release changes, new features, and products on the platforms and quickly gather feedback. These data insights provide us with what we call the scientific approach. 

Typically, a test involves releasing two versions of the same feature to a set of customers. Using data, we can then analyze the success (or failure) of new releases and changes to the platform before we roll it out to our entire customer base.

Company-wide reviews

Every day, more than 250 Egencia employees receive an email that collects every customer comment from the website and the app over the past 24 hours. It’s unfiltered and fully automated, meaning that our senior leadership team, including our CEO Rob Greyber, and every product and technology team member sees what’s on the minds of our customers.

Once a month, this feedback is collected into a customer sentiment metric for the product teams. Monthly product reviews are held with our senior leadership and other stakeholders (customer service, customer success, sales, implementation, marketing) to review the latest releases, upcoming plans, and customer feedback.

This daily visibility into customer feedback, combined with a monthly forum, holds us accountable for what we do. By ensuring our customers are visible and their voices are heard, we continue to develop an experience that makes business travel better.

Being accountable

The fundamental difference in how Egencia operates as a travel management company is how we integrate these different strategies into everything we build, test, and release. Our product and technology teams consistently put the customer first.

Because we own our technology platform, we’re in control. From reviewing customer feedback to releases on our website and app, we take direct customer feedback from more than 9 million travelers around the world and embed this feedback into the culture we create to constantly innovate our business travel platform.