Thomas Cook credits Freshdesk partnership for ability to deal with post-COVID flood of

Thomas Cook credits Freshdesk partnership for ability to deal with post-COVID flood of

The OTA implemented FAQ automation and a chatbot to help its team of 80 contact centre staff manage the flow of requests and queries

Thomas Cook has credited its partnership with customer support software specialist Freshworks for ramping up customer service as demand flooded back this summer. 

The Freshdesk platform provide an automated digital omni-channel support function that complemented the OTA’s team of 80 contact centre staff.

When the UK reopened international travel post-COVID Cook saw customer queries spike catapulting it to one of the biggest selling travel brands. 

As the firm struggled to cope with the volume of requests it implemented Freshworks software to manage the flow of queries and bring in automation.

The partnership began with email and simple chat functionality and then added a conversational chatbot to gather basic information like names and email addresses from customers up front. 

Cook then implemented the Freshworks solutions module to add FAQs, enhancing the basic bot to handle hundreds of varied questions through providing customers with the matching FAQ article. 

To ensure a quick and smooth transition, Cook’s customer support staff in the UK, Bulgaria, and the Netherlands used the Freshworks Academy on-demand training to learn the new systems. 

Thomas Cook says it customer support team has seen “major success” since their transition to using Freshdesk. 

Average tickets resolved per agent per day have increased by 55.5%, as well as an increase in FAQs from 21 to 99 since implementation. 

“Automating the process has changed the game for the same team of 80 customer service agents, with one automation alone successfully closing 5,617 tickets—without human contact. 

“The team now has live visibility into how many tickets are queued for different types of questions, enabling them to receive tickets directly related to their expertise.”

Hayley Chambers, head of customer operations at Thomas Cook, said: “The fact that the project was managed with very little resource, and alongside all other work at the time, demonstrated the ease of working with Freshworks.

“The solution is so easy to use, we were up and running quickly without the additional need for, or cost of an external project team.” 

Freshdesk said the OTAs customer service employees were able to fulfill their goal of becoming the customers’ ‘virtual travel buddy,’ providing them with quick, easy, and reliable services. 

Simon Johnson, vice president of sales and general manager of the UK and Ireland at Freshworks, said: “With the rise of international travel, companies like Thomas Cook need to be able to scale efficiently to deal with the sudden increase and range in customer questions. 

“Freshdesk enables support agents to delegate customer queries to be answered automatically, with self-service, or with direct contact in an accelerated way.”