In a dramatic shift, Flightfox has changed their business model from that of competitively crowdsourcing to connecting directly with one individual expert.
The new business model is that each traveler will be paired with an expert who, for $29, will help select the best itinerary for the traveler's specific trip.
The shift is significant, as it highlights the upside to having a single knowledgeable domain expert connected to an individual traveler throughout the planning transaction.
In a note to press, co-founder Todd Sullivan shared some of the thinking behind the change. They had experimented with three formats: the competitive version where experts compete against each other, the collaborative version where the experts work together, and the individual matching. This is the one that ultimately won out, at least for now.
The main reason being that, in Sullivan's words, "In a contest, the expert works to win the prize and not satisfy the customer." By moving to the direct match, the company believes it can more successfully create a valuable user experience while still delivering sufficient savings to merit the fee.
The company says they have already seen success, with experts tending to customers faster and cultivating relationships - with their Net Promoter Score jumping from 20% to 60%.
The iterated FlightFox can be viewed here.