This is no time for the aviation industry to be smug. As matters stand, aviation is downsizing and cutting costs but one thing you simply cannot afford in this industry is to deliver a below average customer experience. Poor customer experience accounts for loss of revenues of about $ 1.4 billion in the US alone. Issues arise simply because of the distributed nature of services, diverse channels of communication and lack of coordination as well as options for customers during their journey. The situation can improve dramatically with the use of best call center software tailored to suit aviation sector.
First point of contact:
Customers do have choices. Their experience starts at the first point of contact which is inquiring about flights, schedules and fares. The IVR in the inbound call center software is the logical tool to deliver a fine first experience. Modern solutions make use of visual IVR that lets a customer jump straightaway to the desired option. Even with voice responses you can achieve a lot by delivering just the right information with the least number of key presses. Once a customer is in possession of desired information the next logical thing is booking a ticket and making payment to confirm the reservation.
One thing worth considering is to go beyond simple voice response IVR to active conversational chatbot interaction. It involves AI and speech recognition and the added cost will pay dividends.
IVR booking and payment:
Take the contactless, speedy process through IVR in the call center software a step further. It is easy to automate booking and payment. It is not usual that the caller will inquire and then make a booking on the spot. It is likely that travelers will dial back and take further the booking process. In this instance, your ideal call center software for aviation should be linked to the CRM and should be able to retrieve previous interaction data so that the same caller does not have to start from scratch. It should be a walk in the park for prospective travelers to book a ticket and then be offered the option of making payment through the IVR itself. Callers can complete the transaction quickly and securely, receiving email and SMS confirmation as well as the PNR.
This is relatively straightforward. There are more complex matters that require intervention and fast response once a passenger begins the journey.
Issues can crop up such as a passenger wishing to reschedule the flight. In that case, especially at the last moment, human intervention is necessary as is quick access to data. The call center software is ideal in letting agents access customer data regardless at which point of their journey they are located and the time at which they are calling. Mobility extension in the call center software, routing calls to skilled agents and call distribution features ensure that such urgent calls go to a capable executive who can provide necessary assistance within a time bound fashion. The relief of customers who can get their issues resolved is immense and leads to a feeling of loyalty. Likewise, airlines can keep customers notified of changes and offer options through WhatsApp, text or even on social media platforms, whichever channel they prefer or happen to be on. Luggage gets misplaced and passenger’s need immediate action and must also be kept informed of status. Immediacy is always appreciated.
Improve life of customer service agents and counter staff:
How many times do counter staff and customer service agents say “I am sorry but..” It happens more often when there are gaps in communication and access to data through a unified system. With the right call center software in place no one in the chain need ever say “I am sorry” except in extreme circumstances, certainly not for lack of information. If you have a hosted call center solution in place connected to the CRM then, a passenger who started in London and arrived in Hong Kong may contact the counter staff or phone the number and the agent responding has immediate access to the passenger’s data thereby being able to act better to bring about resolution. With reduced stress, your employees are likely to do much better in terms of quality of interaction and service while they get satisfaction from doing what they are supposed to do.
Passengers do hate to hear “I am sorry but..” and, conversely, when they get satisfaction, they are likely to say so on social media and thus boost the airline’s reputation.
The call center software does more than just deliver exemplary and holistic customer experience. You have records of all interactions and you can cross-analyze everything to derive information on weak points and highlights. In a way, it serves as the black box of passenger side operations.
The call center software is a tool. How you adapt and use it for aviation with customization by your provider will play a significant part in improving customer experience and your revenues.