The CX Iconoclast

Steve Byrne – Linking Innovation to Purpose and Strategy

June 05, 2023 OCX Cognition Season 1 Episode 12
Steve Byrne – Linking Innovation to Purpose and Strategy
The CX Iconoclast
More Info
The CX Iconoclast
Steve Byrne – Linking Innovation to Purpose and Strategy
Jun 05, 2023 Season 1 Episode 12
OCX Cognition

Our guest Steve Byrne would almost certainly not have a business to run if it weren’t for the differential power of the customer experience. He’s the CEO of Travel Counsellors, a company that works hard to live by its own rules and to do right by every person involved in its value chain – customers, employees, and partners.  Steve had a lot to say about how he approaches these interconnected obligations, and about how the business is thriving despite what could be considered countervailing market trends.

At Travel Counsellors, vacationers (and business travelers) work with independent travel counsellors who personally plan and support their travel. Steve led the acquisition of Travel Counsellors from its founders in 2014, and today the company has a network of 2100 independent travel counsellors operating in five countries. The company enjoyed steady growth of 15 – 20% for more than 20 years, and though COVID decimated the business, its bounce-back was impressive. This year, it expects to have about a billion pounds in transactions – that’s $1.2 dollars.

It must be said that this is all the more impressive given the massive shift toward self-service and automation in travel. Steve chalks it up to the fundamental differentiator of the company: delivering a customer experience that people deeply value. At the same time, he and also emphasized the importance of adapting to a changing world. 

A few points to listen for in the conversation:

  • For Steve, the ultimate success metric is the lifetime value of the customer. Travel Counsellors explicitly includes referrals in that valuation. And the business supports its efforts to maximize customer lifetime value outcome by tracking and acting on several measures along the way.
  • There’s entrepreneurial value in working with the data that you’ve got, Steve says, rather than waiting for a perfect data set. Embrace being a work in progress.
  • Travel Counsellors is incredibly adept at using technology and data in service of its strategic competitive advantage. In the case of Travel Counsellors, that advantage comes from the value of ongoing human relationships, so it’s a fascinating alchemy.

Learn more about Steve: https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-byrne-a8451b23/

Learn about Travel Counsellors: https://www.travelcounsellors.co.uk/our-story/

Find out how predictive CX analytics can help your business: https://ocxcognition.com/
Follow us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ocxcognition/
Connect with Richard Owen on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/richard-owen-98ba3

Show Notes

Our guest Steve Byrne would almost certainly not have a business to run if it weren’t for the differential power of the customer experience. He’s the CEO of Travel Counsellors, a company that works hard to live by its own rules and to do right by every person involved in its value chain – customers, employees, and partners.  Steve had a lot to say about how he approaches these interconnected obligations, and about how the business is thriving despite what could be considered countervailing market trends.

At Travel Counsellors, vacationers (and business travelers) work with independent travel counsellors who personally plan and support their travel. Steve led the acquisition of Travel Counsellors from its founders in 2014, and today the company has a network of 2100 independent travel counsellors operating in five countries. The company enjoyed steady growth of 15 – 20% for more than 20 years, and though COVID decimated the business, its bounce-back was impressive. This year, it expects to have about a billion pounds in transactions – that’s $1.2 dollars.

It must be said that this is all the more impressive given the massive shift toward self-service and automation in travel. Steve chalks it up to the fundamental differentiator of the company: delivering a customer experience that people deeply value. At the same time, he and also emphasized the importance of adapting to a changing world. 

A few points to listen for in the conversation:

  • For Steve, the ultimate success metric is the lifetime value of the customer. Travel Counsellors explicitly includes referrals in that valuation. And the business supports its efforts to maximize customer lifetime value outcome by tracking and acting on several measures along the way.
  • There’s entrepreneurial value in working with the data that you’ve got, Steve says, rather than waiting for a perfect data set. Embrace being a work in progress.
  • Travel Counsellors is incredibly adept at using technology and data in service of its strategic competitive advantage. In the case of Travel Counsellors, that advantage comes from the value of ongoing human relationships, so it’s a fascinating alchemy.

Learn more about Steve: https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-byrne-a8451b23/

Learn about Travel Counsellors: https://www.travelcounsellors.co.uk/our-story/

Find out how predictive CX analytics can help your business: https://ocxcognition.com/
Follow us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ocxcognition/
Connect with Richard Owen on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/richard-owen-98ba3