Big Bus Tours is one of the world’s largest operators of open-top bus sightseeing tours, working with thousands of agents (ticket sellers, such as hotel concierges and street-side kiosks). However, owing to their slow and outdated booking platform, 75-80% of agents were using paper tickets, or simply booking with other tour groups. Fiora was briefed with redesigning the whole booking platform to make it faster, intuitive and better suited to the modern consumer market.
We kicked off the project by interviewing a large number of agents in all four corners of the globe. Through these interviews, we determined the common pain points and need states associated with Big Bus Tours’ current ticket booking platform. We dissected and distilled the vast amount of research we’d acquired and used our findings to inform collaborative workshops with the entire Big Bus Tours Team. These sessions enabled us to formulate a clearer picture of the new booking platform and formed the backbone of our design thinking going forwards.
With the fast-paced nature of city tours, it was important that agents were able to view any travel disruptions that might impact a customer’s journey. We implemented a live service update which ensured greater customer satisfaction and gave agents more control over bookings.
By not offering online tickets, Big Bus Tours had fallen behind in a fundamental service. Agents and customers were forced to print out tickets, impacting on speed and ease of use. In the new system, we ensured that tickets could be sent to a customer’s phone via both SMS and email, helping to simplify the overall booking experience.
With a global brand like Big Bus Tours, it was vital that the platform worked smoothly across all cities, languages and currencies. We enabled agents to switch between these in with the click of a button, ensuring that every user had the same experience, no matter where they were using the platform from.
With Big Bus Tours catering to millions of customers each year, agents needed to be able to book tickets quickly and accurately. We devised a ‘quick book’ function which allowed agents to book tickets in just a few simple clicks, directly from the portal homepage. As expected, this helped dramatically with bookings, especially during busy, tourist-heavy seasons.
The bespoke, user-friendly and totally customised platform answered the needs of real users across the globe and helped create a seamless user experience. This helped reduce the number of customer questions and complaints, which in turn reduced booking time and the number of ticket returns. This change made a huge difference to the way agents saw Big Bus Tours, helping to draw them towards the company and away from other brands.