The weekend before Christmas Day is expected to be the busiest period for travel this winter[1], with an estimated 100 passengers flying out of Heathrow every minute alone[2]. During the great Christmas getaway, hundreds of thousands of passengers are inevitably likely to experience delays, lost baggage or other logistical issues that will cause inconvenience and frustration. Online Travel Agents (OTAs) inundated with queries will feel the pressure to work against the clock to resolve every complaint.

One of the most common pain points for passengers is a lack of communication during this disruption. Without timely and effective direction from staff, countless questions can be left unanswered, and affected customers are likely to turn to social media to voice their irritation. To avoid reputational damage, travel companies are under pressure to provide a personalised customer experience to keep consumers up-to-date.

Anish Kapoor, Head of Travel Operations at Teleperformance, comments: “Each interaction matters, and it is essential that every time a customer interacts with a company, they leave the experience feeling satisfied. Passengers therefore need to be kept informed throughout their experience via digitally-connected devices and apps. Industry players need to provide direct support through multiple channels such as chat, voice, email and social media to help customers get answers instantly.”

Anish continues: “Better managing social media interactions, and addressing complaints in an active two-way dialogue, will align a brand’s need to safeguard their reputation with customers’ demands. A truly effective Digital Customer Experience (DCX) comes down to striking the right balance between the human element and digital services.”

Anish continues: “A High-Tech, High-Touch approach can give stressed travellers the option to speak to a customer service agent as well as round-the-clock online chat services. By designing solutions which are constantly looking at improving efficiencies, customers can benefit from improved turn-around-time for claims to less than five days. Increasing customer satisfaction, this method subsequently improves brand advocacy by 25 per cent[3]. In the same way travellers will air their grievances, they equally will want to share their positive experiences via social media.”

He concludes: “Considering over half (55 per cent) of consumers complain via social networks to request an apology or solution[4], customer interactions must be reimagined if brands are to be presented positively online. By turning social media into true customer care, travel companies can speed up their response times during this busy Christmas period.”