An interview with HomeAway

HomeAway is a vacation rental marketplace with more than Homeaway
1,000,000 rental listings in 190 countries. Founded in 2005, the company is now part of Expedia and is headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA.  We recently sat down with Catherine Osborne, Senior Manager of Global Content and Education, who spoke to us about the significant impact Wranx has had on the learning and development of their employees in contact centres.  

What type of training does Wranx deliver to colleagues at HomeAway?

At HomeAway, we use Wranx for two different types of audiences: new and existing Customer Service Representatives (CSRs). New CSRs start using Wranx immediately after finalising initial in-class training in order to retain and consolidate their newly acquired knowledge about our company and products. Existing CSRs use Wranx for ongoing learning and are presented with more advanced questions that require transversal thinking.

What training challenges did your organisation face prior to working with Wranx? Can any success at overcoming these challenges be attributed to working with Wranx?

At HomeAway, we continuously strive to improve our sites and services by testing and developing innovative ideas. At times, it can be a bit overwhelming for CSRs to keep track of all recent changes and novelties, especially if their scope is too limited to require dedicated training. In this context, Wranx is a convenient tool to bring CSRs up to speed and make sure they quickly receive and retain all the latest information.

How does Wranx help to improve customer satisfaction?

 We believe that the more knowledgeable our CSRs are, the better and faster they can assist our customers, hence the greater our customers’ satisfaction with our service will be. By delivering small training units every day, Wranx helps us to engage CSRs in ongoing learning and to ensure that they are equipped with all necessary knowledge to provide an excellent service.

 How does Wranx help to improve general efficiency?

 We consider in-depth knowledge of our products and processes a key component of delivering outstanding service to our customers and increasing the efficiency of our CSRs. Amongst all other training initiatives we put in place, Wranx stands out for its format of delivering bite-sized learning on a daily basis, which allows CSRs to continuously test and improve their knowledge, and ultimately become more efficient in their job.

Have you noted specific customer satisfaction or efficiency improvements with your KPIs since adopting Wranx?

It is quite difficult to determine the exact impact of Wranx on measurable metrics such as average handling time, CSat or first contact resolution, especially since we did not create a control group of CSRs that don’t use Wranx to contrast possible findings. However, given that Wranx essentially helps to make CSRs more knowledgeable, our hypothesis is that it does have a positive impact on our internal performance metrics, although this might be easier to determine on an individual case basis than by analysing overall performance figures.

What notable benefits has HomeAway realised since adopting Wranx from the perspective of the following?

  • Knowledge retention amongst colleagues
  • Culture
  • Communication and working relationships
  • Receptiveness to learning

Since we started using Wranx, we can observe a lively discussion amongst agents about certain pieces of information. Very often we find that agents weren’t aware of certain internal processes or interpreted them in a different way, which is why the content presented through Wranx very often leads to clarifying discussions within teams that help to bring all CSRs on the same page. Additionally, Wranx contributes to our cultural value of ‘Mastery’, in which continuous learning plays a key role.

In general, how do HomeAway colleagues feel about using Wranx? Are you able to share any feedback?

The overall feedback regarding Wranx, both from CSRs and CS Leadership Members, is very positive. We can observe that Wranx is not only a great tool to engage CSRs in ongoing learning, but that it also works as a facilitator for conversations across different teams and individuals. More than being a mandatory activity, most CSRs regard Wranx as an initiative that unifies them with their peers while challenging their knowledge at the same time.

Interestingly, most senior CSRs, who might not be very open to other training initiatives, have turned into promoters of Wranx within their respective teams, and we know of several CSRs who have downloaded the Wranx app on their mobile devices to keep on doing their drills outside of work.

How do colleagues in the HomeAway Learning & Development Team feel about the level of service provided by the following teams at Wranx?

  • Content
  • Account management
  • Tech support
  • Do they generally feel that Wranx has helped add value to the training they provide?

Our working relationships with all Wranx teams mentioned above is excellent, and we receive all the support we need on time. Since we started rolling out Wranx to CSRs in November 2017, we have not missed one single deadline or needed to delay any initiative, which is thanks to the great work of everyone at Wranx.

Finally, what are your thoughts on the content conversion process offered by Wranx?

The Content Team has a good understanding of our company and products, and their review of the questions we write always contains valuable improvements and ideas on how to convey knowledge even more concisely.

Written by: Persia Shahkarami

Published: 2 Nov, 2019