Leading UK online travel provider

A leading UK travel brand

Published on 28-Aug-2013

"IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions have revolutionized the way we treat our online customers. Not only have they given us the visibility we lacked, they have also allowed us to dramatically increase customer conversion and retention." - Finance Director

Leading UK online travel provider

Travel & Transportation

Deployment country:
United Kingdom

EMM - Customer Experience Management, Smarter Commerce, Smarter Marketing


The client is a leading UK online travel provider.

Business need:
The quantitative insights provided by the previous web analytics solution were not enough to significantly increase key metrics. The company needed a solution that could provide better visibility into the online channel to improve key customer experience indicators.

The travel company turned to IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions to provide the reporting capabilities of a web analytics solution with the ability to drill-down into the qualitative insights of real customer behavior. The company is now able to quickly diagnose and fix the problems causing failed customer experiences.

With IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions in place, the company has increased their return on investment from marketing programs by 120 percent in the first eight months.

Case Study

Improving customer conversion remains a significant challenge for travel sites today, including this online travel company. Visitors often browse numerous sites over multiple sessions before making a final purchase decision. Many are savvy shoppers that expect a good site experience and, if they do not get one, know that the competition is only a click away. To better differentiate in a highly competitive environment, the company decided that improving customer experience for its market-leading website needed to be a key strategic initiative. To do so, the company is leveraging IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions for world-class visibility into their online channel, dramatically improving customer service, conversion and retention as a result.


Finding the right solution to achieve this new customer experience imperative was initially challenging. Originally, the company utilized web analytics; however, the quantitative insights it provided were not enough to significantly increase key metrics, like conversion. For example, with quantitative data points only, the online travel company had no way of determining precisely why customers abandoned, or if they ever returned to complete a purchase. What the company needed was a solution that could provide better visibility into the online channel, so that they could substantially improve key customer experience indicators like satisfaction and retention.

A better approach

To address this issue, the company turned to IBM Tealeaf Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions because they provide the reporting capabilities of a web analytics solution while affording the ability to drill-down into the qualitative insights of real customer behavior. Now, instead of hypothesizing about site trends, the company leverages the unique replay ability of IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions (a page-by-page, browser-level recording of the actual customer experience) to quickly diagnose and fix the problems causing failed customer experiences. With IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions in place, the travel company is continually finding areas of their site to optimize – with astounding business benefits. Overall, the company has increased their return on investment from marketing programs by 120 percent in the first eight months with the help of IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions.

Win 1 – Resolving credit card abandonment culprit affords 25 percent uplift in conversion.


The online travel company’s web analytics solution indicated a spike in abandonment rates on the site’s credit card entry page. Unfortunately, the high-level metrics did not provide insights into the root cause of the issue and the company was unable to determine why so many customers were not converting on this critical step of the booking process.


Using IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions, however, the company is able to capture and replay each customer session, each time he or she visits the site. This unique visibility affords the company with the ability to perform deep behavioral analysis in order to uncover poor customer experiences. For example, after analyzing customer sessions that viewed the credit card page yet subsequently dropped-off, the company noticed that some customers were confused by the credit card charge that was added to their total. The message that informed them about the charge was beneath the fold and, therefore, was being overlooked, causing confusion and abandonments.


With the culprit clearly identified using IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions, the company was able to quickly redesign the page and resolve the usability problem. This one simple change quickly led to a 25 percent increase in conversion and far more satisfied customers.

Win 2 – IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions foster innovation in the call center that helps generate 20 percent of all revenue received through the travel website.


Recovering lost orders from visitors that experience site problems has always been a significant challenge for the online travel company. Existing solutions did not provide the ability to extensively capture customer information and, therefore, made order recovery nearly impossible.


With IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions, however, the company was able to set up alerts for customers with certain basket values that dropped off for a particular reason – e.g. credit card failure or being stuck in a loop. Because IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions capture information throughout the entire booking process, such as email address or telephone number, even visitors that abandoned are not entirely lost to the company. In fact, the company uses IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions to pass customer information to the outbound team in the contact center – within a matter of seconds. The outbound agents are then able to quickly contact the customer in order to attempt to complete the sale.


The outbound team now delivers more revenue per hour than any other reservation group in the company and has generated a 340 percent increase in revenue year over year. This represents 20 percent of all revenue received through the travel website.

Win 3 – IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions help rectify a simple usability issue, saving thousands of potentially lost customers.


In February 2009, the United States abruptly mandated that anyone flying into the country must register online at least three weeks prior to traveling. To comply with this obligation, the company added a disclaimer to the booking process that required customers to check a box to confirm that they understood the new requirement. However, immediately following the change, the company noticed that conversion rates had plummeted by 13 percent at this step of the booking funnel.


Fortunately, IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions were already monitoring key processes related to customer success, so the company was quickly alerted to the drop in conversion. Moreover, by using IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions to drill-in and analyze affected customer sessions, the company quickly noticed that most customers were inadvertently missing the newly implemented check box. Specifically, when a customer did not select it, the reservation page refreshed but did not give any indication that something had gone wrong. The endless loop was causing frustrated customers to abandon, resulting in lost revenue.


Without IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions, the only way for the online travel company to identify the root cause of the issue would have been through trial and error, which is time consuming and costly. On the other hand, with IBM Tealeaf CEM solutions the company was able to identify and resolve the problem within two days of the update going live. By quickly removing this customer experience flaw (by simply making the box more obvious and adding a helpful reminder message) the company was able to limit the overall business impact of this issue, retaining otherwise lost customers and revenue.

About IBM Enterprise Marketing Management

The IBM Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) Suite is an end-to-end, integrated set of capabilities designed exclusively for the needs of marketing organizations. Integrating and streamlining all aspects of marketing, IBM’s EMM Suite empowers organizations and individuals to turn their passion for marketing into valuable customer relationships and more profitable, efficient, timely, and measurable business outcomes.

Delivered on premises or in the Cloud, the IBM EMM Suite of software solutions gives marketers the tools and insight they need to create individual customer value at every touch. The IBM EMM Suite helps marketers to understand customer wants and needs and leverage that understanding to engage buyers in highly relevant, interactive dialogs across digital, social, and traditional marketing channels.

Designed to address the specific needs of particular marketing and merchandising users, the IBM EMM Suite is comprised of five individual solutions. Digital Marketing Optimization enables digital marketers to orchestrate relevant digital interactions to attract and retain new visitors and grow revenue throughout the customer’s lifecycle. With Customer Experience Optimization eCommerce professionals can turn visitors into repeat customers and loyal advocates by improving the digital experience of every customer. With Cross-Channel Marketing Optimization customer relationship marketers can engage customers in a one-to-one dialogue across channels to grow revenue throughout the customer’s lifecycle. Price, Promotion and Product Mix Optimization allows merchandisers and sales planners to make price, promotion and product mix decisions that maximize profit and inventory utilization. And with Marketing Performance Optimization, marketing leaders, planners and decision-makers can model and assess mix, and manage marketing operations to maximize ROI.

Over 2,500 organizations around the world use IBM EMM solutions to help manage the pressures of increasing marketing complexity while delivering improved revenue and measurable results. IBM’s time-tested and comprehensive offerings are giving companies such as Dannon, E*TRADE, ING, Orvis, PETCO, Telefonica | Vivo, United Airlines and wehkamp.nl the power and flexibility required to provide their customers and prospects with what they expect today – a more consistent and relevant experience across all channels.

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Tealeaf CX, Tealeaf cxView, Tealeaf cxImpact, Tealeaf cxReveal

Legal Information

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