Havas Voyages will optimize and enhance customer experience with MAYA

Michel Dinh, CEO of Havas Voyages: “By adding Maya technology to our Customer Experience, we create new innovative tools for business travelers”

Having been integrated in the Marietton group since the end of 2015, Havas Voyages continues its development in the business travel world. The company refined its strategy for the forthcoming years after starting the year 2016 slightly down, – 3% in the first trimester. “We will optimize and enhance the customer experience,” says Michael Dinh, CEO.

Meaning just 3% of global sales volume of CWT, Havas Voyages did not necessarily have its place within an international group, generally more business-oriented than leisure travel. Even though acquired by Marietton, it still maintains a Business identity: “Out of the 785 million sales volume achieved by Havas, the world of business travel still represents 60% of our business activity”, points out Michel Dinh who does not wish to confine the brand to this one and only activity. « We have the market experience with local agencies because it is this proximity which is important to our customers. This is the guarantee of a service where the human aspect takes its righteous place. »

Havas Voyages is not immune to technological developments and has the intention to conquer the market with the establishment, under the direction of Sébastien Boucher, of a digital strategy that relies on user experience and most importantly, on the porosity found between leisure and the business travel. “Today, we talk to very Internet tools`-experienced users. We naturally need to offer them the same commercial quality with simple, intuitive, ergonomic and powerful systems“, explains Michel Dinh, “But we must also think about companies and buyers who want the expenditure control, reporting and secure information on the movements of their employees. ” The work site is huge for Havas and the first response is based on technology developed modules with iAlbatros and its SBT, Maya.


DéplacementsPros: What’s your strategic plan for the forthcoming years?

Michel Dinh: We started with an observation. In France, there are more than 3 million SME, small and medium sized industries, very small businesses and very small industries. 676,000 travel regularly and only 10% of them are inter-mediated, which gives an idea of the development potential. On this photograph`s basis, we clearly understood that it is compulsory to continue further technological developments that we had incurred, to implement the simplification expected by users while meeting the expectations of purchasers: reporting, expenditures optimization, consolidation of payments… We notice the clear desire of the companies to have a very fine business travel management to pay the right price and the right service. Our strength lies in our agencies` network, 325 today, including 118 franchisees, which live next to our customers and know their needs. Our TP (Travel Planner) will naturally rely on these technologies through the concept of a single file that we set up to be closer to the requests.


DéplacementsPros: New technologies, does this mean you want to replace the old ones?

Michel Dinh: In a way, yes. We still have some commitments with CWT regarding the back office. But clearly, it is the technological offer that we will develop, which is innovative and particularly well suited to our clients` requests, which will quickly take over. We based on a simple idea. Do everything in one click so that the entire travel record is controlled by the user and its purchaser.

This access to information leads us to imagine the technical elements available on all platforms available today, from the desktop to the tablet via the Smartphone. We notice that this porosity between B2B and B2C is strong on the market. It must be found in the tools used in enterprises.


DéplacementsPros : You have made the choice of integrating Maya of iAlbatros. Why?

Michel Dinh: The word “integrate” is not the right one. We relied on the expertise of this solution to develop our own tools and go beyond a simple SBT. The idea, and I repeat it because it is important, is that the entire transaction is handled within a single tool. Wherever the booking, its validation or its payment is executed. So we redesigned the expectations of our customers to translate them into modules that meet the demands. The advantage of this solution is that it is shared by all: naturally, our agencies, businesses and travelers. It seems important now to enhance passenger experience whether by managing the data, the ergonomics of access to services and our ability to solve problems when traveling.


DéplacementsPros: We see all the solutions on the market today offer management of the end-to-end business trip. How do you innovate?

Michel Dinh: I do not know if it is a question for us to be innovative in its technological meaning. We built a set of specifications with customers, users and developers aware of the project. We also met clients who were not inter-mediated. Their nature of needs could be different. In the end, we built Havas Voyages Connect Now (HVC Now)), it is the the name of the solution and we gave it the shape expected by future users. We obviously requested several editors` help to work with us on the project. We also had expressed the wish for an independent solution. It seemed difficult for me to work with a product piloted by structures that could compete with ours. We came to favor the iAlbatros solution that met our expectations. In addition, this provider cannot offer Maya to companies that dispose of less than a 1.5 million “travel” budget and so we sustain our investment in time. It’s a win-win deal.


DéplacementsPros : Was the need for independence the primary point for you?

Michel Dinh: In a way, it was essential to integrate some reflection and process elements in this tool, which were typical for us. For example, for the car rental service, we opted for the solution Resacar, even if we work with Amadeus and we develop our own trading room for some deals.

We consider that the agility and responsiveness are strategic elements for the forthcoming years. It also seems important to have an open solution capable of integrating systems deals from our suppliers without having to do too complex development.

Finally, I remind you that we have created an Economic Interest Grouping with Selectour Afat, very oriented business travel, which allows us to negotiate the airline, hotel or car rental. That allows us to integrate in our tool the rates the companies could not necessarily get anywhere else.


DéplacementsPros: What are your goals now?

Michel Dinh: Firstly, we need to migrate our customers to our own tools. We also need to measure the performance of our development plan and the adoption of the system by all stakeholders, like agencies, customers or travelers. This exhaustive solution requires adaptations in automatic transactions, customization of applications, the integration of negotiated rates, availability on mobile … the list is long. Nevertheless, it is undoubtedly one of the best opportunities we will offer to our markets. We have built our strategic plan around four axes. The first one is naturally the human being who must adapt to these changes to develop their customer relationship. The second competitive and indispensable key point is the technological innovation. In a few days we will equip the salesmen with tablets. It is a small example of the look that we must now present in agencies. The other two points are based on marketing and communication and on physical renovation of our agencies. This final step will be carried out at the end of 2017 in accordance with what we had established. The most important is the understanding that this change is vital to our future.


Entretien réalisé par M. Lévy.

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