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Neilson minimise lost sales with thinkTribe web monitoring

Neilson minimise lost sales with thinkTribe web monitoring


Neilson, the award winning sports holiday firm, has saved time and resources with thinkTribe proactive support and highly realistic website performance monitoring; it now delivers a better website experience for customers whilst minimising lost sales.

Since switching to thinkTribe, Neilson has been able to reduce price discrepancies – the bane of the travel sector – which can lead to confused and annoyed customers. It has also helped with the detection and rectifying of search failures and missing images. thinkTribe Video Replayer capability has proved particularly valuable in speeding up diagnosis and troubleshooting. Neilson resolves root causes quickly with Video Replayer – it shows the page as the customer saw it when an error occurred, so there’s no need to waste time
recreating errors.

Richard Scales, Neilson’s website manager says,

“Our team is very busy, so in the past, issues would often come to our attention after being reported by the users. With thinkTribe, we can now be more proactive and resolve issues before they have an impact on user behaviour and the bottom line.”


From its base in Brighton Marina, Neilson delivers luxury ski, sailing and beach club vacations. The website receives over 260,000 visits and 1.5 million page views per month. When a customer searches for a holiday with different flights, meals, accommodation, etc, the website accesses a host of external databases and all these connections need monitoring. In addition, a common problem for many travel websites is one of price discrepancy – where the initial search delivers one price but the final quote delivers another often higher price.

In mid 2013, Richard was aware of a number of issues. To coincide with the installation of a new reservation and booking system, Richard decided to research the market for a new monitoring provider, one with more intelligent testing and the ability to detect and replicate the issues his customers were experiencing.

“We reviewed a number of suppliers against our well-known existing one, and thinkTribe compared extremely well, with a definite edge in journey realism which is very relevant to us on our highly dynamic site: and the total package was competitive on price,”

explains Richard.

“Also, we really like the thinkTribe portal – the ability to replay the steps a customer takes through the website is really helpful.”


thinkTribe began monitoring Neilson’s website in October 2013 with user journeys running across the main website, the ski section, the beach club
and sailing holidays.

“If there’s an issue with the new reservation and booking system, we can now give detailed information to our provider so that they can investigate,” explains Richard. “With thinkTribe Video Replayer we can simple replay what our customer saw leading up to the exact time an issue occurred. Without this, we would have to replicate the issue which would be very time consuming.”

In terms of price discrepancy (more details below), thinkTribe will alert Neilson if the price difference between the initial and the final quote is beyond a certain threshold. Neilson is able, over time, to tune how often its local search databases are updated with the latest live figures, so that the number of discrepancies can be managed down. This unique feature of the thinkTribe service enables ongoing optimisation of the site based on real evidence. In addition, a few weeks back, thinkTribe detected an issue which
was quickly resolved. It found that Neilson’s main accommodation pages had a number of missing images which could have resulted in frustrated customers and lost business.
“We undertook some optimisation on the website with the aim of making it faster to navigate,” adds Richard. “thinkTribe flagged up that customers were experiencing delays when moving from the search function to the booking engine. We were then able to focus our attention on this area and improve the speeds – interestingly they were being impaired in the handover between the two systems that were managed by different suppliers and teams.”

The Benefits

Richard concludes, “Compared to our previous monitoring supplier, our team can relax knowing that we’re now getting a much better insight into our users’ experience and won’t be caught on the hop.
With thinkTribe, we now have a better tool and a better service.” Richard continues “I particularly like the way that thinkTribe is proactive at flagging up any issues. I don’t have a lot of time, so it’s really nice to have thinkTribe acting almost like an intelligent member of my team.
We now detect any issues before they impact the customer and can provide our external providers with the detailed information they need to make any changes or corrections quickly; and with minimum lost time in explaining details to them.”

“Lastly and most importantly, thinkTribe’s managed service has really raised the bar – their proactive approach and willingness to help resolve issues is something I just didn’t get from our previous provider.”



Services Provided

Website Performance Monitoring

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