Our Blog

Connect with us on LinkedIn

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Conferma: Innovation in the world of corporate T&E

Within the Corporate T&E world there is an opinion, amongst some, that the industry lags behind other sectors in adopting and embracing new technologies and solutions. This could be, in part, due to the ageing and inflexible legacy systems that pervade amongst many operators that constrict their organisation.

Additionally, there are other challenges of finding and keeping staff capable of deploying and managing cutting-edge technology and the rising associated costs. Finally, where and how do you find an innovative and reliable technology partner? These are a few of the common problems that make IT such a difficult issue to address.

Put simply, the industry has a love hate relationship with IT. Yes we need it to do the complex data handling and moving but no we don’t want the ageing legacy systems and incompatible platforms.

Fundamentally, there is no silver bullet, no all encompassing ubiquitous system passing data between and from all Hotels, Airlines, Conference Halls, Rail, Car Hire and Taxi companies back to the booking agent and corporate. Similarly, the banks and technology partners all deploy their own solutions designed from their viewpoint.

So it is no wonder that any company investing in the next generation technology would take a good hard look at the market place before investing. After all, two years from now you don’t want to be tied to another legacy system incapable of meeting the challenges of the future.

One alternative is the Conferma Network! One partner pre-connected to numerous financial and technical partners via a single platform. Conferma’s agnostic approach to partnering with financial and technical partners allows our customers to seamlessly integrate our booking, and settlement platforms into their solutions.

Conferma’s unique and intelligent solutions provide both commercial and technical innovation in that all parties can benefit from using our intelligent solutions to supersede the traditional billback process whilst having the freedom to choose or stay with their existing technical and financial partners. Customers of the Conferma network have access to a powerful Hotel Booking system connected to 150,000 hotels and an array of technical and financial partners for the corporate T&E market.

The real value of the Conferma network is that it will change, grow and develop over the coming years’ in line with the industry. As new booking technologies appear, Conferma will embrace them; and as new partners appear, Conferma will join with them. I think you get the idea. We change, we adapt, we do the hard work - and you benefit.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

We are listening to our customers

Last month Conferma completed the first of many Customer Surveys. The first segment of our customer base we listened to were frontline staff in the corporate hotel booking world. This short survey asked these corporate hotel bookers to rate our customer service and the booking website.

Once the results had been collated our technical team sat down to discuss the data and identify any opportunities to improve the service and solutions we offer. It was surprising that such a brief survey could generate so much information and ideas.

We were pleased with the results regarding customer service satisfaction – many respondents were either ‘Very Satisfied’ or ‘Satisfied’ with the service they received. 83.1% of respondents were either ‘Satisfied’ or ‘Very Satisfied’ with the availability of our customer support. The general feeling is that our customer support is performing well. However, we have spotted opportunities to do better.

To enhance our service further we are introducing bi-annual full-service reviews at an agency level. A new management feature will be built into the site to allow clients to nominate and manage their own contact list. Additionally, all customers will be informed of our support escalation process.

These are just a few of the customer support enhancements we hope will give our customers the support they deserve.

Conferma has achieved 100% availability during the last six months and we believe this justifies our investment in the latest hardware and software. In June last summer we launched v4 of our hotel booking solution, this .NET version is faster and more reliable than its predecessor v3.

When asked how responsive they thought our booking site was nearly half of all respondents thought it was ‘Responsive’ and 96.8% rated the site as either ‘Very Responsive, ‘Responsive’, or ‘OK’. Many within the technical team believe that Conferma can better this score and will work hard over the coming months to make the booking website more responsive.

One pleasing conclusion was that many of the improvements suggested for the website are already in our development pipeline.

Upcoming developments for the site include enhancing the search function, removing guide rates, improving data quality and enhancing administrator functionality. We are also considering introducing GDS property locator codes to help experienced staff quickly search the system.

We have more improvements in the development pipeline and will issue these to our customers over the coming months.