Costa extra: the business portal for Costa Cruises
How can you provide daily support and inspiration for the people in an indirect-sales network covering several international markets via a digital-services platform?
Costa extra is the service platform dedicated to Costa Cruises’ trade channel. It is a focal point for all Costa’s business-development efforts in Italian, French, Spanish and Chinese main markets and from June 25th 2018 in other 43 countries all around the world.
Costa Cruises has no distribution network of its own; it uses thousands of agencies big and small throughout each market. In 2017 the channel of the agencies covered 85% of Costa's sales (1.8 million out of 2.1 million total guests) and in 41% of cases used the Booking on line, one of the Costa extra business portal's tools.
Costa extra springs from Costa Cruises’ desire to maintain and foster constant valuable contact with the travel agencies and individual travel agents. The company wanted to offer them useful, exclusive services, content and tools with a fast, reliable channel for training, exchanging ideas, and listening to their needs on digital, marketing, communication, problem-solving, monitoring and sales matters.
Logotel used its People-focused approach to support the Costa Cruises Sales & Marketing department in creating the Costa extra business portal. The two teams worked side by side to design a digital environment that gives Costa Cruises a unique and highly differentiating ability to work synergically with the people in its distribution network. It enables everyone to develop and to become more competitive in increasingly innovative and future-proof ways.
Costa extra was created by a multidisciplinary team of service designers, training and e-learning experts, community managers, digital designers, web developers and data analysts. It debuted in Italy in 2013.
The business portal aims to facilitate the travel agents’ operational tasks, to optimise information flows, and to make a real difference in their everyday work. Editorial content and tools about the products and offers is published daily.
The project has developed year by year into a tool and service hub.
Within two years the Community has also expanded in France and Spain with the go live of Costaextra.fr and Costaextra.es including the presence of a Logotel editorial staff at the Costa Crociere’s Headquarters in Paris and Madrid. From July 6th 2017 the community also reached China: Costaextra.cn is the mobile-first platform that provides a new focus for all Costa Cruises’ business-development efforts in the Far East.
Since 2016, Costa extra has also included the Costa Academy, a multi-level points-based training pathway covering topics from agency marketing to sales, digital and social media.
The business portal now links up more than 30,000 travel agents, who log in throughout the day every day from any kind of device in order to:
- read the latest sales news about products and offers;
- learn on the many training courses;
- use increasingly powerful and precise booking tools;
- use end-customer engagement tools from vouchers to discounts and free gifts;
- share success stories and stay in touch with the Costa world.
The 25th of June 2018 Costa extra reached another 43 countries in which Costa is aiming to spread its product: from Scandinavia to Russia, from Poland to Austria and Switzerland, aiming also India and all countries in Central Europe and in the Mediterranean sea.
THE PROJECT IN FIGURES
5 different versions of the online Business Portal all around the world
30,000+ registered users on the business portal
9 languages spoken on Costa Extra (Italian, French, Spanish, Chinese, English, Russian, Polish, German, Dutch)
47 countries involved