10 Feb Travel agency streamlines scheduling and improves collaboration with cloud productivity and booking tools
Based in Offenbach am Main, Germany, Intertours provides travel services for small and medium-sized companies. Intertours wanted to begin its digital transformation by moving away from time-consuming, paper-based accounts management and appointment scheduling. The company implemented the Microsoft Bookings service, part of Office 365 Business Premium, to automate core business processes. Intertours saves time and reduces costs on administration with its new solution while improving communication with partners and customers.
Before we started using Microsoft Bookings, scheduling was becoming incredibly time-consuming due to our growing client base and the sheer volume of projects. Now the whole process pretty much takes care of itself.
-Marc Will: Chief Executive Officer
When managing director duo Marc and Katrin Will took over Intertours travel agency in 2014, the company relied almost entirely on manual processes. Employees at the Offenbach am Main, Germany–based agency used pen and paper for everything from customer service to accounting tasks. They updated data manually and managed projects through email. To make or change bookings, agents called partners and customers on the phone.
As business picked up, the company expanded to seven employees. But the in-house IT infrastructure struggled to support basic collaboration and administrative tasks. And as projects became more complex and bookings increased, managing these tasks with phone calls and email became increasingly time-consuming and confusing.
Scalable tools for a modern workplace
The Wills recognized that for the company to grow, they needed to transform the way people worked together and adopt more robust IT tools. They chose a Microsoft cloud solution because it will scale with the company while providing features to handle a variety of demands.
In early 2017, Intertours engaged Aluxo, a member of the Microsoft Partner Network, to begin the agency’s digital transformation by introducing Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium and Dynamics 365 services. Aluxo laid the groundwork for simple, streamlined collaboration and flexible management processes with Office 365 tools like Outlook Online for email, Forms for polling and surveys, Skype for Business Online for messaging and meetings, chat-based workplace solution Teams, and online scheduling tool Microsoft Bookings. In addition, it automated customer service, sales, and marketing workflows by deploying Dynamics 365 as a customer relationship management (CRM) solution.
Quick adoption of new tools
The first thing Marc Will, Chief Executive Officer of Intertours, noticed about the new solution was the ease of collaboration and familiar user experience. “Our employees have found it much easier to work together since we introduced Office 365,” says Marc. “Everyone is already familiar with Office, so it didn’t take long to put the applications into practice—which was a crucial advantage.”
Intertours has made communications noticeably faster by digitizing work processes and migrating them to the cloud. Now employees are well connected, with chat, presence, and video conferencing just a click away. They can collaborate more effectively on the go or in a home office from their preferred devices.
Fewer phone calls, more time serving customers
Intertours made scheduling simpler and more efficient with Microsoft Bookings, a modern information management tool that supports around-the-clock online booking through a customizable web page. Bookings automatically creates a contact for each customer who schedules an appointment online, saving the contacts in a list, so agents no longer have to manually track and organize this data. Thanks to a seamless exchange of information across all devices and platforms, agents can accomplish administrative tasks more quickly.
Now, agents can automate scheduling confirmations and reminders, so they spend less time on the phone trying to reach customers. “Before we started using Microsoft Bookings, scheduling was becoming incredibly time-consuming due to our growing client base and the sheer volume of projects. Now the whole process pretty much takes care of itself, and everything is much more transparent. We can manage bookings, reminders, and calendar entries easily, even on the go. This allows us to concentrate on our real jobs—improving business travel,” concludes Marc.
With Microsoft Bookings, everything is much more transparent. We can manage bookings, reminders, and calendar entries easily, even on the go. This allows us to concentrate on our real jobs—improving business travel.
-Marc Will: Chief Executive Officer