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Increasing Customer Satisfaction

Group Distribution – using modern technology to get close to

As part of the new function-based global organisation, the Group Distribution structure has been in place since November 2009. Group Distribution supports the business with strategies, tools, processes and procedures in customer-facing areas like E-business, CRM (Customer Relationship Management), telephony and call centres. It plays a vital role in advancing Kuoni Group’s strategy to become a more customer-centric organisation.

The Group Distribution organisation has introduced a model in which Group-level specialists work closely with virtual teams composed of members from various business units. These virtual teams support Kuoni to foster crossborder collaboration and knowledge sharing in a systematic way. The organisational model secures the implementation and active usage of Group applications and systems. The strong collaboration between “front-line” and “specialists” assures that investments made in this area achieve a positive return on investment.

Changes in the distribution landscape

The models for distribution of travel products have changed dramatically in the last decade. As the online sector challenges existing value chains within the industry, the need for a strong relationship with the customer has become increasingly apparent. Kuoni is acting to acknowledge and address these changes.

In the market segments and regions where Kuoni is active, these changes exhibit different patterns and dynamics. It is therefore important for Kuoni, as a Group, to respond to the specific needs and models. Northern Europe with Scandinavia and the UK is more online-driven than Southern Europe and Switzerland. Kuoni’s customers in the latter regions are more attracted to personal advice and contact. The reasons are different in each of the countries. Product mix, online maturity and industry structures all play a vital role. This means that the development of capabilities like online and CRM have received varying degrees of emphasis.
Yet the overall direction is the same: the future customer will use online channels more and more and will also demand that services are available in multiple channels.

E-business & online

Kuoni continues to invest in its online capabilities. In 2010, a further shift was made in the direction of online sales. Group Distribution continued to develop and roll out a shared group application (CMS) to new markets. As part of the investment and cost reduction programme, various initiatives and projects have been launched. They will bring improved online capabilities to the Kuoni Group in 2011 and onwards.

The year 2010 was also when the usage of mobile applications really took off in the travel industry. Kuoni launched a number of different iPhone apps in Scandinavia, the UK and Switzerland. These initial forays into the mobile area have provided insight for further investments in this field. Mobile applications will not only be used to inspire customers interested in Kuoni products, but will also serve as an important cornerstone in its communications with the customer before and, if required, also during travel.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer Relationship Management is key to Kuoni’s ambitions in the area of customer intimacy and customer centricity. Getting to know the customer better in order to provide superior services will be critical for the future success of Kuoni. In a world where customers switch rapidly from channel to channel, it is essential for Kuoni to have a single focus on customers and their various needs. Therefore, CRM is becoming an increasingly important tool for Kuoni as a customer-centric company.