July 16, 2024

One-stop shopping

Over the past three years, Clarity has been working hard to develop a cutting-edge booking platform, ClarityGo. We checked in with three of the team

As Clarity rolls out its new online booking platform, ClarityGo, we chat with the travel management company’s CEO Pat Mcdonagh, Executive Director Technology, Carl Law, and Executive Director Product and Commercial, Sue Chapman.

Pat Mcdonagh, Carl Law and Sue Chapman

What has been created?

Pat: We’ve created an online booking platform on one hand and an agency-operating platform on the other, built with speed, content, scalability and capability at its very heart. It’s a one-stop-shop for accommodation, flights, rail and car hire, giving relevant results faster than ever.

Carl: ClarityGo really sets us apart in the industry. What makes us unique is that we now offer the full TMC package: experienced people and the latest technology.

How is it different to other booking platforms?

Carl: The main difference between this propriety system and other TMC booking platforms is that we are not only in control of our own destiny, but we we also own our products and the IP.

Pat: It’s built with the latest cloud technologies, so is extremely agile from a content perspective. Its database is so extensive, customers can access over 1,000,000 hotels, and searches are unified.

Sue: What makes ClarityGo stand out is the way we have built this from the ground up, using our people’s expertise and client feedback. It’s built with them in mind. Unlike other booking platforms that think about the client afterwards, we’ve taken our clients on the journey with us, ensuring it’s intuitive throughout the booking process, from seamless navigation to ease of use.

Carl: In fact, it’s been externally assessed for accessibility as we’re one of few TMCs that has put accessibility at the centre of our product methodology.

Pat: It’s also an agent selling platform, so the fact that we’ve joined the internal and external needs seamlessly together means there’s zero friction, whether a booking starts online by a direct user or offline by a member of our team.

Why have you developed it?

Pat: Being in charge of our own destiny is so important, especially when you consider the ever-changing distribution landscape. You must be in control of the technology, especially with the advancement of NDC and the need for more direct connection and agility in terms of where we source content from. It’s our own technology, so we can react quickly without reliance on third parties.

How will it help your clients?

Sue: Clients can enjoy a user-friendly interface and lightning-fast results that are also tailored to them, all in one place. Searches are more relevant, content is comprehensive and comparable between suppliers, dashboards and itineraries are personalised. Clients can also track and offset CO2 emissions.

Pat: Because of the sheer range of content, clients have the confidence that they get the best price and value on the day – all with accessibility at its heart.

Carl: We are essentially putting our clients in control, so they can administer their own programmes and personalise the content.

Sue: Clients also have the chance to share real-time feedback based on their experiences so we can help them get the best usability.

Will they still get the support from your call centre/humans?

Sue: Yes, absolutely. We’re still a full TMC service, so have operational teams who are experts in their fields. What we’re doing is giving the clients the ability to self-serve but we’ve also got the chat facility completely powered by humans.

Did you develop it completely in house?

Sue: Yes, we harnessed the experience across our business and with our clients, bringing all of that into our own platform. Before we started writing any code, we did extensive research into the current market challenges, so we fixed issues for clients and our own people. It’s been several years in the making and one of our biggest investments. We’ve had a dedicated project team assigned to this for the last couple of years who started the discovery and design in May 2021 and development in April 2022. Just like our core values, we’ve listened and used our experience across the business to develop this market-leading platform.

Carl: We want to continue enhancing the platform, so we’re running client forums as we migrate and capture data from the platform. This continual feedback drives our development.

Have you already trialed it and what was the response?

Sue: We trialed it with a core group of clients who came along on the journey with us. This made a huge difference as we got invaluable feedback, which we took on board and it enabled us to make changes. The feedback has been great and we are already seeing increased online adoption levels and customer service satisfaction scores.

Pat: All areas of the business have been blown away by the functionality and speed.

When and how will it be rolled out?

Sue: We began the rollout in Q1 2024, with most clients migrating in the next six months.Pat: Our highly anticipated industry-wide launch will be at the Business Travel Show Europe (stand J41) on June 19-20 2024, where it will be showcased to media and prospects for the first time.

Carl: This is just the start. We’ve got some really exciting plans for our future technology, especially integrating ClarityGo with our other market-leading proprietary technology, MeetingsPro, so watch this space.

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