Travel suppliers cautioned during summer surge

Travel providers remain optimistic that the current spike in sales will continue, as Britons
continue to seek respite from one of the gloomiest summers on record.

But customer services technology provider RightNow is warning travel suppliers not to get
complacent during the current booking surge.

“Travel companies must ensure a superb customer experience, even during the recent
unexpected peaks,” says Joe Brown, general manager, EMEA, RightNow.
RightNow, whose partners include several airlines and online booking organisations,
including British Airways, Opodo, and Thomas Cook, has devised a top tips list for suppliers
to retain customers, even during slower periods.

Among other recommendations, Brown advises travel providers to tie online, contact centre,
and marketing operations together. 

“The best results come from integrating these so that customer information gathered in the online and contact centre operations drives targeted marketing campaigns, which can then be effectively supported by these operations as they go live,” he says.

Website usability is also critical, says Brown.  “Ensure that websites are knowledge-empowered so information pushed to the customer is relevant to the web page they are viewing and don’t look to limit information, but rather use topics so that customers can find what they are looking for.”

Brown further advises suppliers to empower contact centre agents to become “trusted advisors” to improve customer satisfaction and to address internal communication. 

“Customer service agents often feel they are the last to know about decisions that directly impact on their interaction with customers, such as activity that may lead to a spike in contact centre calls.  Combat this by simplifying and easing the sharing of knowledge between different business functions.”

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