3 Secrets To Earning 5-Star Traveler Reviews
With so many advancements in self-service booking, you’d think that the demand for human customer care agents in the travel industry would have disappeared. Wasn’t that the prediction not too long ago?
It’s true that technology has forever changed the nature of planning, booking, even experiencing travel. But for two distinct types of customers – the frequent business traveler, and today’s picky leisure traveler — the larger truth is that white glove, live-agent care is in greater demand than ever.
Here’s what else is true: finding talented customer care agents for this highly specialized group is tougher than ever. The secret to creating and sustaining a great inbound customer care team is to pay less attention to resumes stuffed with all the right “hard skills” – and far more attention to the unique and highly sought-after “soft skills.”
Hire for these three core competencies. Then train on brands, systems, and procedures.
Competency 1: Drive to Find Solutions
Not everyone possesses this ability. Fewer still can claim it as a towering strength. But for a stranded traveler – or just a customer with a few extra particular needs – there are few things as demoralizing (or infuriating) as a call with someone who just can’t be bothered to go the extra mile. Screen candidates for their ability – and desire – to approach new challenges with curiosity, tenacity, and a total commitment to finding best solutions. Use behavior-based interview questions and what-if scenarios to find the rare talent who will bring this to every call.
Competency 2: Empathy
When a traveler misses a flight, experiences a weather-related inconvenience, or simply wants to get home earlier, they want solutions, asap. But more importantly, the minute they hear a human voice, they expect a deeply human response. A robotic recitation of “what’s available” and what isn’t, devoid of compassion, makes an already difficult situation so much worse. But there’s no way you can run enough training to teach this critical skill.
Competency 3: A Tech-Savvy Quick Study
The most successful inbound customer care agents are the ones who are excited about new technology. In the travel and hospitality industry, every agent must be capable of learning legacy systems. But they must be equally eager to embrace new tech and systems. Above all else: you need agents who can be nimble and quick across multiple, often disparate systems – even when faced with unforeseen developments.
At Skybridge Americas, we are continuously perfecting our recruiting, hiring, training and coaching processes. Our leadership team brings decades of travel and hospitality experience. If you’re ready to upgrade your inbound customer care team, please reach out. We would love to know more about your goals and how we can help you reach them!
Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing
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