Engage is a Seattle-based startup that helps companies, including travel agencies, generate more leads from visitors.
It helps to connect travel agents to their customers via a chat-style interface. In a rare touch for such services, each time a customer comes back, he or she can find their "go to" contact, instead of a random connection.
That's something that the startup says has led to higher conversions, averaging ratios of around 5.5% for hits to engagement conversion, and about 12% for hits to form submittals.
So far, its key travel clients are agent network Travel Leaders and luxury travel specialist Virtuoso.
Here's a short Q&A and pitch video from the company:
What problem does your business solve?
Today, over 70% of travel customer’s first interactions with a travel agency happen online. But at what cost?
As we know, travel agents do more than just find the lowest prices on airfare and hotels. They build long-term relationships by delivering exceptional service unavailable through “automated” systems. Real, human travel agents deliver a customized and high-touch buying experience that simply can’t be replicated through automation.
Engage is a powerful new technology that puts the focus back on an agency’s differentiation: knowledgeable and trustworthy travel agents.
We help customers immediately find, select, and start the purchase process with travel agents via the travel agent’s web page.
Engage empowers travel agents to better serve existing customers online while generating new leads from the agency’s web-based marketing activities. At Engage we do one thing incredibly well.
We put agents on the Internet for improved customer reaction time. Engage technology has been engineered to help travel agents form meaningful relationships with prospective travelers at the moment of interest by getting them in front of customers, enabling live one-to-one engagement, and effectively converting online meetings to bookings.
Engage is the only instant customer interaction tool designed to seamlessly integrate communications systems (Text Chat, Voice, and Video Conferencing) and connect a named agent inside of a company’s web presence. It becomes the travel agency sales switchboard on the Internet, making sure the right agents are connected to customers at the right time.
Engage humanizes the interaction experience via the Internet, increasing personal touch loyalty, and reducing reaction time for the agent to the traveler.
Names of founders, their management roles, and number of full-time paid staff?
Lief Larson, Cofounder, Enterprise Success
Danny Patterson, Cofounder, CTO
Wade Wendorf, Cofounder, Sr. Dev.
Chirag Pancholi, Growth & Evangelism
Engage is a well-supported, VC-backed company focused on helping sales and customer experience.
We charge a simple $7 per month per agent. Users can sign up or sign off at any time without any fees. Agents can sign up and start the sales process enhancement in less than 15 minutes.
Why do you think the pain point you’re solving is painful enough that customers are willing to pay for your solution?
Engage instantly connects a qualified traveller to travel agents, a customer to a travel agency. Engage can also connect an agency’s travel partners utilizing both external and internal web sites.
Engage delivers conversion ratios around 5.5% for hits to engagement conversion, and about 12% for hits to form submittals. Engage will provide a travel agency with new qualified engagements, which previously were lost opportunities.
Agencies will experience immediate accountable results within minutes of implementation.
Engage integrates all the communications, social media and form submittal functions inside a personification portal on the agency’s own website, with a single line of embed code. It can do it for one person, a department, or a full enterprise, across departments and diverse geographic locations.
Engage keeps prospects focused on the brand experience, not some program provider outside of a live session with the customer.
Engage is the Internet switchboard connecting travel agents and travellers together seamlessly without having to use additional programs; it is all embedded in the agency’s own website and completely tracked and controlled by the agency. It truly enables business on the Internet.
Engage has made a one-minute video pitch.
Chat-style interfaces have drawn a lot of interest in the travel industry lately. So Engage may be hitting a sweet spot in the market.
Engage says it is focused on the travel space, though it has clients in several other industries, too, and its solution is not inherently travel-specific.
Travel agencies are a tough sector to break into through cold calls. They also tend to have tight operational budgets and a concern about how much time will be involved in learning new tools. Engage has so far positioned its solutions creatively to address these concerns, but it still has more work to do.