Maintaining great customer service – when the going gets tough, the tough get going
June 30, 2020
When the unexpected happens, there is often a spotlight on companies to live up to their brand values and maintain the same level of experience their customers expect. This is certainly true of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important that delivering a good customer experience remains a priority for travel businesses. Not only does this benefit end-travellers, it will also pay off in the long term to retain customers for when travel resumes.
So, what can travel organisations do to ensure their customers’ needs remain front and centre during this time? Here are a few thoughts:
- Keep communicating: Whilst brands may not have all the answers now, simply acknowledging customer concerns and keeping them up to date is a good starting point. Be helpful and supportive, as well as timely, compassionate and honest, in your communications. Be proactive and deliver regular updates where appropriate.
- Give up-to-date and relevant information: Many brands have launched an online FAQ or resource hub to help ease the inbound queries their customer service teams are receiving. If you’re considering this, these should be insightful, kept up-to-date and if from third parties, need to be from reputable sources. This is an approach many travel players have taken, for example, Trip.com has launched a COVID-19 International Travellers’ Guide.
- Review company resources and processes: Take a look at your company structure: can you maintain ‘business as usual’ while also coping with increased pressures? Do you need to redirect staff and resources into different areas of the business temporarily? For example, at the beginning of the pandemic, we reallocated team resources to increase the capacity of our disputes team as they guided our customers through the dispute resolution process.
- Consider broader repercussions: It’s important not to get blindsided by the pandemic and consider the bigger picture. For example, it has brought with it a new wave of coronavirus-focused scams. With the travel industry particularly vulnerable to fraud, OTAs should not only consider how to protect their own business but keep their customers informed too. At eNett, our security team is also working around the clock to ensure both our customers and our platform are protected, giving customers peace of mind when they need it most.
- Engage employees: Employee experience and customer service are intrinsically linked. Without nurturing the former, you will not deliver a good experience for customers. That is why it is essential to empower and engage employees while many of us continue to remotely work. In a previous blog, I explored this further.
- Look to the future: This is the time we need to think about the future and how we’ll do business in the world after COVID-19. Whilst it has been a challenging time for most businesses, it’s safe to say that we’ve learnt a lot of valuable lessons on the importance of strong relationships, automation, workplace flexibility and the things we need to do to rebound quickly.
It has never been more important for our industry to look after our customers and continue delivering high-standards of customer service and experience, so that when we emerge out of the pandemic, our brand stands strong and are poised for growth.
At eNett, customer experience has always been at the core of everything we do. As a company, we are doing all that we can to support our customers during this time. Read more about what we’re doing to help, here.
Anthony Hynes, CEO and MD, eNett International
About eNett International
We’re B2B payments game changers. Our products are innovative. Our service is fast. Our customers’ transactions are safe. And we’re easy to deal with.
We listen to our customers and fix things that should work better. Our payment solutions provide a better experience and help them grow.
eNett’s Virtual Account Numbers (VANs) allow travel agencies to generate a unique 16-digit Mastercard number used to pay travel suppliers quickly, efficiently and with less risk. A unique number is used for each booking or payment transaction, so VANs are a secure way to pay and be paid. And they’re welcome anywhere Mastercard is accepted online.
We’re majority owned by Travelport, and our VANs are seamlessly integrated into its Travel Commerce Platform.
Further enhanced by our global banking services partner and shareholder Optal, eNett’s fast, easy and safe payments solutions are solving the payments challenges of leading travel agencies around the globe.