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We spoke with Amy Ludwig, Director, Product Management Mobile Services at Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), to learn more about the company, the app and why bringing airport venue maps to its customers was such a key addition.
CWT is a global leader specialised in managing business travel, meetings, and events. “Everything we do at CWT is focused on helping our customers be organised, enjoy stress free travel and to use their time as efficiently as possible,” explains Amy. “Therefore we want to streamline their entire travel experience from the planning and booking phase to finding the airport gate with ease and confidence.”
The CWT To Go app was first launched in 2011 to give travellers access to their itinerary on the go. Since then, CWT to Go has evolved to include more features and functionality, such as itinerary sharing and hotel booking. It has become a leader among managed travel apps, with over 600,000 registered and active users.
For the latest version of the app, Amy and her team conducted extensive research to understand the main issues travellers face and then figure out how CWT To Go could help address them.
“Not surprisingly, we found out the main travel pain-points are related to unforeseen changes. Cancellations, problems finding gates and figuring out where and how to access Wi-Fi all rated highly on the irritation scale. We also found that customers want to bridge information gaps. For example, the gate is here, but is there somewhere nearby to grab a bite to eat before boarding?”
And that is where having access to airport maps in the app is extremely valuable for travellers.
One thing was clear among all users surveyed: time is a precious resource and business trips are planned down to the minute. Knowing exactly where to go in an unfamiliar airport is a huge help for the time-pressed. Instead of spending precious minutes searching for a gate, the traveller can use that time catching up on emails or calling home.
Travellers are also looking for more detailed information. Amy adds, “Our users told us they are looking for healthier food options on the go. So, when they see the map, it’s helpful to be able to see the exact restaurant name so they can decide if that’s the type of food they are looking for, not just the knife and fork symbol that indicates a place to eat.”
Why HERE? Amy tells us that having airport maps available around the world was a crucial deciding factor. That, and the ability to search within the map for a preferred restaurant or shop.
Now, when in an airport, users can access maps guiding them to their gate and providing information on what’s around it. Or, if they want to explore the airport more thoroughly, they can look at the entire airport map.
Next up for CWT is an integration with Uber, allowing users to book the service through CWT To Go, with reminders flagging when flights will arrive or leave so that rides can be booked and arrive on time. Also, CWT will be adding the ability to book flights through the app to offer end-to-end travel support.
These updates, and the company’s work with HERE, will allow CWT to offer an optimised travel experience.
Want to add venue maps from HERE in your own app? We’ve got over 13,000 venues in 85 countries, from airports, to shopping centres, hospitals and stadiums, available in the HERE Mobile SDK for iOS and Android.