For travel-loving twin brothers Marc and Sascha Bell, jobs in the tourism industry were not enough — they wanted to run their own company in their small hometown of Altrip in southwest Germany.
So in 2013, they ditched their jobs in Hamburg and Munich, respectively, and launched Animus Travel, a business that organizes overseas vacations for students just finishing high school — and turns thoughts of far-away adventures into reality.
Booking everything from flights and accommodation to recreational activities was often too slow via email. The time lag between sending a customer a quote and receiving a response meant prices jumped or deals disappeared.
To make this process faster and more efficient, Animus Travel transitioned their customer interactions to the WhatsApp Business app in April 2018. Since making the switch, its customer base has grown by 30 percent. During summer — peak travel season in Europe — the app helps the team connect with approximately 1,000 students at the same time.
“Young people are very familiar with WhatsApp. For them, it is the fastest and most accessible way to communicate,” says Sascha. “Many of our young clients don’t even have an email account.”
Animus Travel receives around 100 customer inquiries a day. The quick replies feature helps the team answer each inquiry faster and more efficiently. And the away messages feature means Animus Travel always has a connection with customers, regardless of their office hours.
“You have a direct relation with them all the time,” says a customer who booked a trip to Bulgaria with Animus Travel.
Adds another client who traveled to Croatia, "I can resolve all the questions before the trip via WhatsApp; much faster than via email or phone.”
Marc and Sascha want Animus Travel to be a go-to destination for wanderlust young travelers. And with the WhatsApp Business app allowing them to better connect with their customers, they can help students see more of the world, one destination at a time.