• February 1, 2007
  • By Colin Beasty, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Web Cruisiology

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Cruise.com knows the value of the Web when it comes to conducting business. Being the largest Web site specializing in discount cruise vacations, the company's entire existence is based on the Internet. But never did Cruise.com's IT administrator Jose Grullon expect to the Web to be so useful in finding an IT solution for his company's training needs. Three years ago the company began seeking sales agent talent outside of its base in Florida. The problem was how to train the sales and customer service force, which numbers nearly 180, on its software. With agents spread across the United States, the decision was made to incorporate Web conferencing as the means by which to hold new agent training classes. "While our agents are experts in the cruise and travel industry, not all of them are highly technical," Grullon says. "We had to find a fast and fairly inexpensive method in which to train new agents and to provide recurring, ongoing training to the entire department." After researching various Web and video conferencing services and finding them all too expensive, Cruise.com came across WiredRed's e/pop Web Conferencing solution by simply doing a Web search following hours of surfing the Internet. Grullon found that e/pop had all features required for efficient training purposes, including application and desktop sharing, remote control, and VoIP audio. Installation was a breeze, and Vivian LaMadrid, Cruise.com's corporate trainer, now tutors 15 people in two weeklong sessions per month. If the company used a service to accommodate its current training schedule it would cost approximately $10,000 per month. After purchasing e/pop, Cruise.com spends $7,200 per year on the software, which is less than what it would cost for two trainings. "When we used a service for training we had to limit it to very important meetings or initial training," LaMadrid says. "Our new employees are better trained and therefore more well equipped to do their jobs."
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