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How easyJet holidays managed the Covid-19 crisis with automated refunds

How easyJet holidays managed the Covid-19 crisis with automated refunds

How easyJet holidays managed the Covid-19 crisis with automated refunds
Industry
Tourism & Travel
Size
10 000-15 000 employees
Customer since
2020
Location
United Kingdom
Interviewee
Paul Curtis, Technical Director at easyJet

easyJet plc is an affordable European point-to-point airline headquartered in London. easyJet is the seventh-largest airline globally, with 342 aircrafts and 48 million customers spread across 35 countries and 154 airports. 

easyJet holidays, their new holiday business, launched at the beginning of 2019. Their primary focus is the sale of great-value holiday packages to UK customers through easyJet’s online platform and selected trade partners, making traveling more effortless. Their organization brings to mind a dynamic start-up with an agile approach, separate board, and innovative technology.  

However, their launch date could not have been more unfortunate, as the Covid-19 pandemic struck in March 2020, forcing easyJet holidays to cancel many of the already sold holiday packages and significantly reduce their offer. easyJet holidays team had to suddenly change all its marketing plans and focus on processing both involuntary and voluntary cancellations. 

To process refunds, easyJet team wanted to use gift cards or refund credits instead of cashback in order to maintain liquidity and incentivize customers return once the restrictions are lifted.

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Key challenges

  • Introduction of a new product and a need to promote it among current customers.  
  • Covid-19 pandemic causing an astronomical number of cancellations.
  • A need to maintain liquidity during the pandemic. 
  • Limited time to implement a solution to handle and automate refunds quickly.

Right after the pandemic hit and customer service got flooded with refund requests, easyJet holidays started looking for a solution to process returns to gift credits automatically and at scale. 

They were searching for an out-of-the-box solution that would not require a lot of custom development to achieve their specific use case. They were also looking for a RESTful, API-first SaaS to integrate seamlessly with their e-commerce. 

They found Voucherify to be the perfect solution mainly due to:

“We were super pleased with the Voucherify functionality and could clearly see how this is something we could potentially get up and running within a six to eight week time period.” 

Shortly after finding Voucherify and joining a few demos, their team decided to build a POC that led them straight to the implementation phase. The complete integration (using .netcore SDK and React on the frontend) took approximately 12 weeks, from the initial contact with Voucherify to the first refund processed with the Voucherify API. 

Your status update page is very, very good in giving us a real-time view on the performance of the system – any slowdowns or bottlenecks are immediately called out on that page.”

They have also used Voucherify in an email campaign offering a £100 voucher to the easyJet customers who have not used easyJet holidays yet.

In the future, once the right customer data platform is in place, easyJet holidays is planning to launch more targeted, personalized promotions using Voucherify. One of the ideas is to offer a special incentive to customers with expiring refund credits or to launch separate loyalty or referral solutions. 

“Voucherify works as expected – it does what it says on the tin.”

Results

Discount voucher campaign sent to over 1 million easyJet customers.
Coupons
Thousands of refunds processed automatically to gift cards.
Coupons
12 weeks-long time-to-market.
Coupons
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