French Side Travel is a family-owned, inbound travel agency and destination management company specializing in custom-made itineraries across all regions of France. Whether travelers want to plan a honeymoon, proposal, or multi-generational trip, experts at French Travel Side curate unforgettable experiences and provide unmatched service quality.
Local travel designers combine their on-the-ground knowledge with client input to create the perfect blend of unique experiences, while the concierge service team provides fast, complete responses without any language or cultural barriers. Clients also have 24/7 access to customer support while on the trip to ensure travel goes as smoothly as possible.
Front helps French Side Travel get and keep all team members on the same page, so they can deliver the level of service their luxury clientele expects.
French Side Travel built its stellar reputation by obsessing over the details, prioritizing the most unique experiences, adding a personal touch to every conversation, and providing top-of-the-line support. But as the company scaled from a father-and-son travel business to a 50-person travel agency, it quickly outgrew Gmail.
Many client experiences take up to a year to plan, and managing 12+ months of email across multiple departments was overly complex. Without full team visibility, issues weren’t getting the level of attention and follow-up they deserved. Messages were missed, and clients had to repeat themselves — putting the relationship at risk.
The team tried using Zendesk to accommodate their growing team, but the platform lacked opportunities to add personal touches — a deal-breaker for French Side Travel. As Hunter Cowing, Brand Strategist at French Side Travel, puts it, “It was too support-oriented and not human. We need that emotional connection to our clients. It would’ve been too dry of a support experience.”
When Zendesk didn’t make the cut, French Side Travel turned to Front. With the new platform in place, the whole team was able to monitor the end-to-end customer journey from initial request to post-trip reflection, ensuring quick and quality service.
Streamlining cross-department collaboration for better customer experiences
In Front, each trip comes into a shared inbox and gets assigned to a single owner. This makes it clear who is responsible for responding while also giving all teammates — travel designers, booking agents, production teams, and concierges — visibility into client communications. With one person owning follow-up, nothing slips through the cracks.
If a single client email relates to several different team members, the trip owner can highlight specific sections and ask each person to weigh in using Front’s comments capability. Team members can also see full communication history, including existing bookings, to help them get complete context and ensure they don’t ask clients questions they’ve already answered.
Shared drafts have empowered French Side Travel to craft perfect answers to their clients without needing an in-person meeting — even in tense situations or with a significant language barrier.
Hunter shares, “Front’s capabilities really shine with internal communications across departments. The shared inboxes, commenting, and shared drafts really help with clarity. They have reduced the need for in-person communication (meetings, face-to-face chats), which in turn improved our productivity.”
Front’s automation features also streamline French Side Travel’s workflow, using tags to flag VIP clients and time-limit rules to move them up in the queue. Front’s snooze feature allows team members to push back emails that aren’t a current priority while guaranteeing they’re still taken care of later.
Making more time for personalization for stronger relationships
Rapid response time is particularly critical for French Side Travel, especially when clients are traveling and need immediate answers to their questions.
But Gmail was slowing the team down, making it near-impossible to find specific discussion notes, client requests, and client preferences. If the team member on call wasn’t involved in the trip planning process, digging for this information was even more challenging.
With Front’s advanced search function, any team member can locate important details — from a driver’s phone number to dietary restrictions in seconds. Hunter explains, “Exchanges with our clients usually extend over a long period, sometimes even up to a year, so being able to refine the search to find the exact discussion we are looking for is a massive time saver.”
Before Front, team members were also losing time rewriting similar responses. Hunter and his team have converted frequently asked questions into message templates, like “How does tipping work in France?” Rather than spending time repeating the same information, team members can focus more on extra personalization before sending a response to the client.
Templates have also standardized French Side Travel’s communication style — a must for maintaining company branding and reputation. Hunter is expanding the use of templates to the entire customer lifecycle: “We have a pipeline of emails that we send to each customer, and templates ensure that no matter who our team members are working with, they follow the same process.”
The team’s quick, accurate, and well-thought-out responses set French Side Travel apart from the competition, keeping other travel agencies and clients returning for future itineraries.
Getting full customer context after centralizing all channels into Front
Clients have a variety of preferences for how they communicate with their concierge — email, phone, WhatsApp, and more. But switching between multiple systems to communicate caused key details to slip through the cracks. After integrating Front with Dialpad, French Side Travel is able to save an AI-generated transcript to each customer’s profile.
Following a client call, team members can review the conversation as they write their recap, making sure they address every request. Because the transcript is visible to other team members, they can reference the information even when the concierge is out of the office.
The success of this integration has driven Hunter and his team to explore the WhatsApp and Instagram integrations to centralize all internal and external communication channels in Front. Hunter is also excited to dive into Front’s Analytics and lay the foundation for measuring KPIs like NPS and retention in the future — a primary focus for the company.
“We’re working on a campaign to invite past travelers back to France, and the quality of service we can provide thanks to Front means we have a large group of previous clients that we can invite.”
Front has raised the bar for French Side Travel’s internal collaboration, setting the team up to exceed their already exceptional customer service standards — even as they scale.