Business was booming for a new travel site, but the company was not prepared to scale its internal organization to keep up with sales and support questions from customers. The customer experience was taking a hit. There were instances in which customers reserved a hotel room through the travel site only to arrive at the hotel and discover that the rooms were overbooked. Hotel partners were concerned that their brands were being tarnished by a poor reservation experience. The travel site’s associates were overworked and undertrained, sending attrition rates sky rocketing.
The company needed to manage growing customer interaction volume across voice and email and improve customer satisfaction at the same time. It wanted a partner who understood the value it placed on customer satisfaction and could deliver an experience worthy of their brand.
We focused on two areas – streamlining the customer experience and implementing workforce management strategies to boost efficiency and employee retention.
On the customer experience side, we helped break down silos to create a “One Customer Experience” for both travelers and hotel partners, who were previously served by different departments. We revamped the training curriculum and shortened the training times. In addition, we created a customized hiring plan to focus on both hard and soft skills that matter most to a positive experience. Associates can now effectively resolve issues for both types of customers, not just go through the motions with a limited skill set.
For example, if a guest needs to be rebooked at another hotel due to an over-booking, associates will take ownership and follow up with that person to ensure that the new reservation meets their needs. The associate also works with the hotel to pre-emptively find other accommodations for additional guests before they arrive. This creates a better experience for the consumer, and delivers the brand promise for the hotel.
On the employee side, we applied workforce management best practices and expertise to help the client more accurately meet its staffing needs to optimize efficiency and effectiveness. We also developed a reward and recognition system that stimulated associate awareness and engagement through contests, round-table discussions, and regular performance status updates. This helped reduce attrition and increase retention.
Within a few weeks, our team met or exceeded customer satisfaction goals, and we continue to deliver outstanding performance levels in terms of average handle time, first-call resolution, and calls per hour.
In addition, the new training curriculum reduced the new associate onboarding process from 120 days to 60 days. And the new hire acquisition strategy helped cut associate attrition in half. The client was so pleased with our results that it named us its #1 partner in the Americas, and continues to expand their relationship with us.