The web-based nature of SaaS tools lends them a certain affinity with online business. This is demonstrated amply by UK travel agent Thomas Cook’s deployment of on-demand CRM technology from US vendor RightNow.
Thomas Cook used RightNow’s software to create a repository of information designed to prove indispensable to its customers. The original deployment, started back in 2005, created a self-service system that allowed customers to find the answers to frequently-asked questions, such as “Why haven’t my tickets been delivered yet?” without them having to contact the call centre. That led directly to a significant drop in the volume of calls.
According to Thomas Cook’s director of e-commerce, Russell Gould, the RightNow system was so user friendly that when the company decided in 2008 that it needed to standardise on a single customer service knowledge bank for the web – both for call centre operations and for home-based customer support agents – it was the obvious choice. “The system has a certain intuitiveness,” he explains.
For Gould, the main advantages of RightNow’s SaaS model concerned ease of deployment. “One key advantage was the ability to get [the application] out there as quickly as possible,” he recalls.
Going forward, the fact that RightNow offers integration into web-based platforms will help Thomas Cook as it upgrades to a new e-commerce from ATG.