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The competitive edge

How HelloGbye’s full-service automation is bringing more value to corporate travel
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Customer: Boulevard Travel, ALTOUR International, Hunter World Travel
Channel: Travel Management Company

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Imagine…

Seamless end-to-end travel planning, a dramatic reduction in operating costs, and better, personalized service for your customers — all done through email.

Too good to be true?

It is too good – but it’s also true.

The future is automated

Agencies of all sizes have used the travel lull of 2020 to improve their business models and re-jig strategies to better support customers, reduce operational costs, and minimize resources – but those who’ve seen the most immediate improvements are the agencies who’ve adopted more automated capabilities.

HelloGbye is a technology solution designed specifically to help agencies address traveler requests sent by email — which is the most common mode of communication for business travelers. It enables more time for customer service by automating many of an agency’s most time-consuming tasks.

“For corporate agents, we eliminate the manual process of creating itinerary recommendations by automatically deriving itinerary intent from traveler email requests,” says Greg Apple, HelloGbye’s chief revenue officer. “Leaving the agent more time to focus on providing superior service and far better response times to their clients.”

After partnering with Travelport nearly one year ago, HelloGbye has seen an increasing number of travel management companies (TMCs) on its roster.

We followed up with three TMCs, who’s business models are all based around personalized experiences for their customers, to discover how full-service automation is bringing more value to corporate travel in different markets.

Boulevard Travel

Boulevard Travel was the first Canadian agency to implement HelloGbye’s automation platform. Operating for nearly 30 years with a “white-glove service philosophy,” Kevin Murphy, Boulevard Travel’s chief operating officer, says the pandemic has reinforced the need for this type of immediate personalized service.

“As we began working on our strategy for the future, we discovered that many of our manual processes were creating friction that prevented our agents from being able to offer more customized support,” he says. “We knew the value of automation before the pandemic, but the challenges of 2020 have solidified our decision to invest in new capabilities that simplify our booking and travel management processes, and make it easier for our travel managers to dedicate their time to better servicing, and supporting travelers.”

Kevin says that after adopting the combined HelloGbye and Travelport tech, they immediately saw a drastic change in how they were able to process and respond to email requests.

“Although we operate as a regional TMC, it is especially important for us to deliver superior service to our travel customers at scale, and that includes the ability to respond quickly and accurately,” says Kevin.

“During our proof of concept testing, we were able to process hundreds of requests in just a few hours — a process that would have previously taken us weeks to manage manually. We’re excited about this new ability that will give our travel managers more time back in their day to provide valuable experiences for our customers.”

Altour International

ALTOUR International is the largest, full-service TMC in the United States, and one of the largest globally. Serving corporate travel, leisure luxury, mid-market, and the entertainment community, ALTOUR has 53 offices and employs more than 1,300 travel professionals worldwide — so incorporating a full-service automation solution to their business has been monumental.

“In our initial conversations with HelloGbye, we were very excited about the opportunity to increase efficiencies in itinerary management through automation,” says Lee Thomas, chief operating officer at ALTOUR.

“We’ve built our global brand on our ability to personalize service and simplify the journey for our customers,” he says. “With automated itinerary management, we will be able to respond to a growing number of itinerary and change requests from business travelers in a fraction of the time.”

Hunter World Travel

Hunter World Travel is a mid-sized, California-based TMC focused on efficiency and effectiveness powered by technology.

“We’re very aware that corporate travel is going to continue evolving,” says Casey Hunter, chief economic officer at Hunter World Travel. “And therefore we’re doing everything we can to ensure we provide a better, cheaper business travel experience.”

Casey says they’re preparing for the ‘new normal’ by using HelloGbye to further enhance their capabilities, and help their staff work as efficiently as possible.

“We’re fully aware that our ability to service itinerary requests, exchanges along the journey, and in-destination will be especially crucial in the new era of travel.”

More time means better service

TMCs of all sizes have faced significant challenges over the last year. Changing global travel restrictions have meant more frequent itinerary changes, and many agencies are trying to manage these increased tasks with reduced resources.

By automating many of the necessary, and more time-consuming tasks, HelloGbye is helping TMCs operate more efficiently and gain an increasingly competitive edge.

With automated itinerary management, we will be able to respond to a growing number of itinerary and change requests from business travelers in a fraction of the time.
Lee Thomas, Chief Operating Officer, ALTOUR International

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