Our clients and their business development project in Lille

Online travel boom prompts Booking.com expansion

May 21, 2014

In fall 2010, Booking.com was looking to reinforce its leading position in offering its clients round-the-clock customer care. The Amsterdam-based company evaluated several locations in France and northern Africa to open a new customer care platform that could be operational by July 2011, and able to bring in 70 new employees by December 2011.

Booking.com (part of Priceline.com – NASDAQ: PCLN) is the world’s n°1 on-line hotel & accommodation reservation company. Available in more than 40 languages anytime, anywhere from any device (PC, mobile phone or tablet), Booking.com offers over 461,000 hotel and accommodation properties (including apartments, villas, hostels, agricultural tourism stays, bungalows and boats), covering over 65,000 destinations in 201 countries worldwide, and attracts visitors from leisure and business markets around the globe. With over 17 years of experience and a dedicated team of over 6,500 employees in more than 130 offices worldwide, Booking.com operates its own in-house customer service available 24/7.


The key success factors for this project of customer care platform were:

  • A dense office market able to support the platform’s rapid growth,
  • A young and talented labour pool, with a special focus on multiple languages,
  • A strong local support with solid understanding of the regulations.


How did Lille’s agency support Booking.com?

Prior to selecting their site, Lille’s agency participated in Booking.com’s site review and provided the company with relevant business intelligence.


1. A tailored-made office proposal

With a deep understanding of the company’s needs in terms of technical aspects (broadband, servers, etc.), accessibility (public transportation), social issues (secure area, comfortable office space, human scale) and financial conditions (lease terms), Lille’s agency assisted the company in finding the right premises, 1,800 m² in Tourcoing, scalable as needs grew, enabling the company to secure its recruitment and develop operations.


2. Co-piloting Booking.com’s ramp up

The tactical mission of this operation is to manage customer relationships 24/7 worldwide. By recruiting multilingual people, Booking.com can offer global travellers assistance throughout their entire experience. Operators had to speak French, to enhance support for French-speaking travellers, as well as fluent English and a third language.

By mobilizing its proactive local network, Lille’s agency enabled Booking.com to recruit and train 70 new hires within the first six months of production.


3. Understanding the local rules of the game

Opening a new operational centre in another country requires a company to adapt to local regulations. As with any other activity, customer care is regulated by French labour laws. On the basis of its extensive experience, Lille’s agency enabled Booking.com to:

  • Choose the right Collective Labour Agreement to protect both Booking.com and its employees
  • Build the company’s case to extend office hours, by understanding the legal framework and facilitating the process
  • Communicate within its new local ecosystem.


Booking.com’s expectations have been fully met. Today, the platform counts 280 people from 40 different nationalities, speaking 30 different languages.


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