Travel firms should get their customer service in line now or face a potentially disastrous year, warns founder of travel services specialist CallUma, Tony Partridge.Heightened security measures at airports, a predicted increase in the number of people travelling and concerns over personal security means that consumers are going to be reliant on travel companies to support them and keep them safe more than ever before.
Partridge said: “In the past few weeks we’ve seen some of the largest travel agents and operators coming to us for advice on how best to solve the out-of-hours customer service issues. CallUma offers a bespoke fully white-labelled customer service solution for the travel trade, from out-of-hours support to a full 24/7 customer service.
“However whether you’re looking to use a third party or handle it inhouse, the way these issues are handled could make or break companies this year. Offering a mobile and flexible approach to customer services is what is going to dictate the winners and losers.
“Already in 2010 we’ve seen a huge increase in questions over transfers, hotel queries and reconfirming every aspect of the holiday from customers of our current partners. People are checking and double checking things – and by nipping doubts or problems in the bud as fast as possible, rather than leaving it to fester with the customer until they return to the UK, is a far more effective way of working for agents and operators. ”
For a monthly fee, agents and operators are able to use CallUma’s team to answer out-of-hours calls.
Partridge said: “In the current climate being able to offer customers this round-the-clock reassurance is key. Customers are placing more demands than ever before on their holiday providers, whether it’s a small independent travel agent or a worldwide tour operator.
“Being able to use our multilingual call centre resources for emergency and general out-of-hours service means that trade partners will be able to rest assured that their customers are in the best possible hands.”
Clients are provided with weekly or monthly reports as requested providing detailed information regarding customer service queries and complaints.
“For travel agents this provides an easy way to see which of their operator partners are causing the most issues,” said Partridge.