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Call for BA to implement callback & filtering features

Call for BA to implement callback & filtering features

Old Aug 26, 19, 8:22 am
  #31  
 
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Originally Posted by RGS5526 View Post
If the first piece of information one was asked about when calling BA about an existing booking was the booking reference, it might cut a significant time from the start of the conversation. If this were done as part of the automated preliminaries (Press 1 for a new booking, 2 in connection with an existing booking, 3 for a cosy chat with a real person, …), it would enable the person handling the call to have all the relevant information in front of them immediately.

Information from the PNR would enable call prioritisation by such things as EC status, cabin and fare bucket, and even caller's past DYKWIA attitude - route the call direct to a supervisor or a first-day intern to suit the degree of aggravation to be fed back.
I disagree - it doesn’t feel very premium to have to interact with a ‘robot’ - if flying in J or as a status holder then part of the premium service should be that I can call a number & get through to an empowered agent who can help...rather than lots of menus / options. One can talk about the virtues of ‘optimising’, capacity tracking, working smarter not harder all you like but IF you want to deliver good service you have to have happy, empowered, front line staff. It saves so much aggro in the end. If you just want to be good enough then by all means do all of these things but don’t think customers won’t notice and staff won’t turnover when they’re faced with Mrs Irate who doesn’t know her booking reference but knows she’s flying to Munich on a flight in the afternoon next Tuesday.

If LTN Phobia’s suggestion were implemented of course, the customer’s EC profile could be pulled up based on their phone number & it would just be a case of clearing them through data protection to see Mrs Irate is booked on BA954.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 8:38 am
  #32  
 
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The crux of this seems to be many customers want multiple ways of accessing contact centre staff, but those staff are limited in number and can only work on a finite number of issues at a time. Does someone waiting on the phone have higher priority than someone waiting on webchat, or someone who agreed to be called back 30 to 40 minutes later which was now due? Do you split the support teams into GGL down to Blue and non-blue, but then that means some GGL may wait longer than some others, or if you don't, then some non-blue passengers may never get a call back or attention.

What we're seeing here is an event that BA's IT risk management team have said is rare enough not to warrant additional spend on a solution - or if they presented it to the main board as a risk, something the C-suite staff thought not worth spending the money on. Hopefully they will revisit this and weigh up the perceived loss of goodwill and business against the cost of implementing some changes. But regardless of what ever IT solution they come up with to sort out priority call answering, if they don't have enough contact centre staff to deal with the issue, there's not much point. Maybe this is where they train all BA Waterworld staff in the fine art of reservations and how to make changes.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 9:02 am
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by rossmacd View Post

I would much prefer to use a medium such as Whatsapp to communicate with BA, underpinned by a fully-functioning website and App that is specced to handle transactions such as complicated itinerary ticketing, IRROPs for every eventuality (including rebooking on other carriers) and ability to perform upgrades, vouchers, jokers etc.
Though the problem with that is that the best rebooking option often involves invoking powers that the airline has good reasons to not grant to the passenger. I've had a large hub ground stop recovery routing where the quickest way for the GA to get me onto the best possible partner flight option involved changing my ticket from the cheapest possible economy fare bucket to an unrestricted fully refundable Y ticket in order to force partner availability on a different airline. Which required a short conversation with a supervisor at some sort of partner airlines reissued tickets desk to get that kind of override.

IMO, better to focus on the easy part of the rebooking process- the 80-90% of flyers trying to do something like trying to get on the 11:15 flight because they're going to misconnect on the 10:30 flight. Given the option, most people would rather spend 2-3 minutes on their smartphone pushing a few buttons to deal with that kind of thing. And that would free up more phone agents for the kind of harder and complex cases where the fix involves some sort of legit need to do a manual override to correct a problem
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Old Aug 26, 19, 9:42 am
  #34  
 
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Agreed with the OP and I've also made some similar suggestions here: BA : We're sorry, but our lines are busy...
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Old Aug 26, 19, 10:12 am
  #35  
 
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Like others, I agree the phone system could be improved and many other companies have taken advantage of the fact many customers have personalised identifiers through their mobile number.

However, we also live in a generation where we expect to do so much more online. BA’s IT systems are barely adequate for a simple booking transaction and woefully inadequate for disruption. A change in management attitude and investment in online, self-managed transactions that go beyond simple booking is what is needed.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 10:57 am
  #36  
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AA not only identifies status based on phone number (or permits one to enter one's AA # if the phone is not registered), but the call is routed accordingly and the agent immediately asks whether one is calling about the next itinerary. If not, a simple request for the PRN and that is pulled up.

The reality is that many of the problems are caused by poor IT which requires passengers to call to accomplish tasks which should be handled online. There will always be people who choose to call, but that number dwindles every year. The less routine the call centers handle, the more time to focus on complex issues.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 11:07 am
  #37  
 
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Originally Posted by LTN Phobia View Post
I don't think fundamental IT changes would be easily forthcoming, but at least those functions listed above are cheap to implement. Online rebooking tool would be much harder to implement, even though I prefer to have that function, of course..
What you have proposed is effectively IT change.

As others have pointed out, self-service online tools are both what customers want, and implemented correctly, can help the most customers in a finite period.

BA needs to bite the bullet, rather than re-arrange deckchairs. However I suspect the data loss incident and associated fine and publicity, as much as the cost-cutting, mean it is probably a very change adverse organisation in IT terms right now.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 11:22 am
  #38  
 
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I genuinely wouldn't have cared if it took BA 12 hours to call me back, as long as I'd have known a callback was coming (could have easily had a page showing where I was in a queue and estimated wait time).

They really need to invest some money (ha!) to stop anything like this happening again in the future.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 11:37 am
  #39  
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Originally Posted by IAMORGAN View Post


I disagree - it doesn’t feel very premium to have to interact with a ‘robot’ - if flying in J or as a status holder then part of the premium service should be that I can call a number & get through to an empowered agent who can help...rather than lots of menus / options. One can talk about the virtues of ‘optimising’, capacity tracking, working smarter not harder all you like but IF you want to deliver good service you have to have happy, empowered, front line staff. It saves so much aggro in the end. If you just want to be good enough then by all means do all of these things but don’t think customers won’t notice and staff won’t turnover when they’re faced with Mrs Irate who doesn’t know her booking reference but knows she’s flying to Munich on a flight in the afternoon next Tuesday.

If LTN Phobia’s suggestion were implemented of course, the customer’s EC profile could be pulled up based on their phone number & it would just be a case of clearing them through data protection to see Mrs Irate is booked on BA954.
Data protection ought to be automated as well. While there may be rare occasions when there is no option, for the most part, alpha-numeric data ought to be entered into a keypad on a mobile (or land line) rather than bellowed into a phone in a public place.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 12:03 pm
  #40  
 
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Originally Posted by RG1X View Post
I genuinely wouldn't have cared if it took BA 12 hours to call me back, as long as I'd have known a callback was coming (could have easily had a page showing where I was in a queue and estimated wait time).

They really need to invest some money (ha!) to stop anything like this happening again in the future.
Agreed. If even Air Canada can and does do this and actually call back when they promised for a non status pax like me it is time BA started to do some investing for at least the GGL and Gold lines
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Old Aug 26, 19, 1:32 pm
  #41  
 
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BA could also ask you to enter your exec club number (if not recognised from the phone number), passport number, DoB and digits from postcode while waiting. This would speed things up too as less agent time would be spent doing what a computer could do.
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Old Aug 26, 19, 1:58 pm
  #42  
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Fundamentally this all is investment - especially if you’re looking at Identification and Verification. The Contact Centre platform will need to interface with something that can verify the customer calling in who they are then proceed on that basis.

If BA wants to invest in Contact Centre there’s many good people out there who can build a solution that is not just voice but other channels too including chat and social.
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