Midcounties Co-op has turned travel stores in Evesham and Thame into multi-channel agencies, operating under the new brand cooptravel.co.uk.
With the company’s integration of its shops and website proving a success, we take a look at how other brands are developing a multi-channel approach…
The giant announced changes to its high-street working practices in August last year, making the group’s 5,379 Thomson and First Choice agents responsible for all bookings made in their shop’s postcode, including web and call centre reservations.
A system is expected to be in place by October, which means agents receive rewards for bookings not made directly through their agency. This could cover, for example, bookings made online after a customer has sought advice from the local agent.
The company has begun a four-month trial of a facility allowing customers to chat to agents online through the website.
Customers who reach certain points in the online booking system will be invited to have a chat with an agent for advice or guidance.
Agents can also ‘co-browse’ the site with customers who need help with navigation.
The student specialist has also launched a live web chat facility to help make the most of traffic to the site.
The new function gives users an option to chat online to a destination expert, and is aimed at improving service levels rather than being a hard-sell tool.
The group has seen more growth in the number of customers booking an appointment online to see an instore consultant than in online bookings.
Co-operative Travelmaker in Jersey, part of Channel Islands Co-operative Society, has revamped its shop within the Homemaker department store. It now offers a special appointment area, video library and viewing area (pictured above).
General manager Carl Winn said: “People in Jersey want to research online, but book with a name they trust. We are able to promote ourselves as having web prices, but with face-to-face contact.”
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