Travel Syndication Technology (aka TST) is an online travel booking software company based in Atlanta, Georgia, that has built an innovative private label solution for booking vacations. TST’s customers include both online travel shoppers as well as travel agencies and home-based travel agents.
Booking travel is massively complex — the possible combinations of destinations to
airlines x routes x times x prices and
(hotels OR Airbnb) x specific area — it’s enough to make your head spin. Every customer’s experience is unique.
To further complicate things for TST, their product integrates with many different external providers, some of them still running on old mainframe backend systems.
Things can and do go wrong, but TST is using FullStory across their engineering, support, and design teams to diagnose errors, solve for customer unhappiness through support, and build a better user experience (UX) with design.
Understanding the Errors That Cause Failed Bookings
TST has been using FullStory for about six months in their Production process to help capture and understand when things go wrong. David Gilicasals, a software engineer at TST, wrote in to share how FullStory is helping them understand what happens when things don’t go as expected.
"With our existing logging and analytics tools we’ve been able to capture and be notified of customer’s failed bookings. But this is just one part of the picture.
Other things could go wrong before the customer even gets to click that final ‘Book my trip’ button. In some cases, our logs may not give us that information, forcing us to go find a specific log message in a haystack of log messages.
So one of our first FullStory segments and funnels was to track our conversions and find out any errors that occurred throughout a booking process."
Finding the “needle in a haystack” is a forte of FullStory — both in the ability to search on any behavior (And build a funnel or segment) and the assurance that all the user interactions have been captured. No needle can hide for long.
TST Uses FullStory for Customer Support
Prior to FullStory, David shared that TST relied on a process whereby customers who landed on the “Uh oh, your booking failed” could call a travel agent to report the problem. This caused a ticket with a simple screenshot attached to it to be created.
Often important information from the customer’s experience would get lost in translation or not be totally accurate. Other times, TST simply needed additional details.
On using FullStory the process was changed dramatically. David writes:
"“Going from a screenshot and a brief description to a FullStory playback session has been a game changer and has made our engineers and QA life much happier.”
— David Gilicasals, Travel Syndication Technology"
What more, TST “recently integrated FullStory into our travel administration console so we can now access the FullStory session for any successful or failed booking just by clicking a simple button.”
Helping customer support agents understand a customer’s problem at the click of a button is one of the great benefits of integrating FullStory session replay with existing support systems. It’s human-powered but scales. Bionic!
Building a Better User Experience (UX) With Click Maps
TST uses FullStory to understand and improve user experience on their site through both session replay and click maps. Click Maps are FullStory's solution to the problems of heat maps. Click Maps aggregate user clicks on elements from any given state within your web app.
Here's a shot of TST's app as seen through FullStory Click Maps. Note how each number item provides specific information about how many clicks the item received relative to the aggregate as well as what percentage of users clicked:
A glimpse at TST’s app as viewed through FullStory Click Maps.
Here’s David on the insights provided through FullStory Click Maps.
"Finally, the last area where we believe FullStory is going to provide a lot of value is in designing a better user experience to our customers. By replaying selected user sessions, we can now more easily visualize how our customers effectively use our site and find some of the friction points in our user interface.
For instance, the ‘click map’ functionality has already surprised us in several cases by showing us how customers interact in a way we didn’t anticipate.
We now know that 20% of customers looking for a flight will update their initial search criteria to find other potential options, but only less than 1% will use the flexible date functionality that we provide as an easier way to compare flights in different dates."
Fascinating to hear that only about 1% of fliers are open to trying the flexible date functionality within TST’s app — but 20X as many users are willing to change smaller elements of their flight itinerary and search again.
You can take Page Insights Click Maps with a FullStory trial — or if you are already a FullStory user, take a spin through a case study for how you can put Click Map analysis to work.
We’re excited that TST is putting that functionality to good use.
FullStory is “Indispensable”
David wrapped TST’s experience using FullStory by saying:
""FullStory has very quickly become an indispensable tool for our product owners, engineers, QA, and support staff."
— David Gilicasals, Travel Syndication Technology"