Update from Perry: Medallion reservations handling

 
Old Sep 18, 09, 3:12 pm
  #1  
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Update from Perry: Medallion reservations handling

SMI had the chance to spend the day with Perry Cantarutti, vice president – reservations sales & customer care, while in CVG at our 6-city Habitat for Humanity build recently. During our time together, we talked about some of the conversations on FlyerTalk and thought it would be good to touch base with you to provide an update from a reservations perspective.

How will Medallion calls be handled going forward?
As reported here, yes – we can confirm that Chisholm will be taking Diamond, Platinum and Gold Medallion calls along with our call centers in Cincinnati and Salt Lake City. As you can imagine, with the customer base that we need to serve, it is important for Delta to recognize that customers need our support 24/7 – and we need to be there when you need us. It is for that reason that three call centers will have dedicated staff to handle the needs of Diamond, Platinum and Gold members.

Will the service be the same at each location?
First, we would like to dispel the notion here that one call center is ‘better’ than another. In Perry’s eyes – the whole res organization is filled with dedicated, knowledgeable employees who work hard to service each call. Both DL and NW Res have long histories of providing superior service for our elite frequent flyers and we’re working hard to bring forward the best of those teams into our new Premium Sales and Service Res team. Keep in mind that due to systems issues, up until this point, Medallion members calling NW Res and WorldPerks Elite members calling DL Res haven’t be serviced by the respective airline’s elite reservations agents. The good news is that this should no longer be an issue once the loyalty systems are integrated (October 2009) and inventory systems are merged in early 2010.

Between October and our inventory system cut-over in early 2010, there will be a period of ‘pardon our dust’ as we have previously posted here and here; we are still working on answers to your questions as well. Once we have full integration of the programs, agents will have access to the necessary systems and information to solve issues.

What about Silver Medallion members?
Silver Medallion members will also be directed to agents with the tools and training to handle elite customer’s needs to book itineraries and answer questions – the difference is that calls will not go exclusively to Chisholm, Cincinnati and Salt Lake City. All agents that handle every level of Medallion calls have significant training to help provide the level of service that comes with being among Delta’s most frequent travelers.

What else is coming our way?
In general, we are confident that you will see the fruits of our labors very soon and you will start to see improved service across all of our call centers. The integration of the programs and systems that support our agents will also provide us with the opportunity to become more specialized in handling issues. In the past, agents have dealt with an amazing variety of issues that vary widely from call to call which contributed to being a ‘jack of all trades and master of none’. In the future, our agents will be able to focus on specific types of calls and to provide improved service when working with your travel plans.


Perry’s insights are always fun to report on. As we move forward, SMI will continue to work with key leaders at Delta and gather their perspectives (when we can) to share that information with you, right here on FT. Let us know your feedback - we continuously monitor your opinions. When we get the chance to provide insights, we certainly will.

Oh, and one final note that we cannot stress enough – we are doing our very best to get information out to you here, via e-mail and on delta.com, but please understand that many of your questions are complex in nature and it takes a team of people (at times) to provide an accurate answer. We could just toss out information recklessly, but we know that you will pick out every inaccurate, nuanced detail. That only serves to frustrate everyone in the process; clearly this is not in anyone’s best interest. Our approach will continue to be thoughtful – we monitor your questions (daily), review the issues that seem to be the source of the most conversation (weekly), and work on responses to those (as quickly as we can). There will be a bit of a lag for responses – so please be patient. We want to keep you ‘in the know’ because we value all of our frequent travelers.

Until next time …

SkyMilesInsider
DLCorpTeam is offline  
Old Sep 18, 09, 3:30 pm
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Originally Posted by SkyMilesInsider View Post
What about Silver Medallion members? Silver Medallion members will also be directed to agents with the tools and training to handle elite customer’s needs to book itineraries and answer questions – the difference is that calls will not go exclusively to Chisholm, Cincinnati and Salt Lake City. All agents that handle every level of Medallion calls have significant training to help provide the level of service that comes with being among Delta’s most frequent travelers.
I would like to translate this quote:

Silver Medallion members will also be directed to India where elite customer’s needs to book itineraries and answer questions will probably get screwed up and end up in – Chisholm, Cincinnati and Salt Lake City. All agents that handle every level of Medallion calls, except those in India, have significant training to help provide the level of service that comes with being among Delta’s most frequent travelers, but for Silver Medallion because you well, suck.

But in all seriousness, thank you SkyMilesInsider for the update.

Last edited by GoCanes; Sep 18, 09 at 3:40 pm
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Old Sep 18, 09, 3:37 pm
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Originally Posted by GoCanes View Post
I would like to translate this quote:

Silver Medallion members will also be directed to India where elite customer’s needs to book itineraries and answer questions will probably get screwed up and end up in – Chisholm, Cincinnati and Salt Lake City. All agents that handle every level of Medallion calls, except those in India, have significant training to help provide the level of service that comes with being among Delta’s most frequent travelers, but for Silver Medallion because you well, suck.

But in all seriousness, thank you SkyMilesInsider for the update.
Delta doesn't outsource reservations to India at any level anymore.

Glad to see Plats keeping Chisholm though!
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Old Sep 18, 09, 3:38 pm
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Originally Posted by GoCanes View Post
I would like to translate this quote:

Silver Medallion members will also be directed to India where elite customer’s needs to book itineraries and answer questions will probably get screwed up and end up in – Chisholm, Cincinnati and Salt Lake City. All agents that handle every level of Medallion calls, except those in India, have significant training to help provide the level of service that comes with being among Delta’s most frequent travelers, but for Silver Medallion because you well, suck.

But in all seriousness, thank you SkyMilesInsider for the update.
I know you're joking. But to be clear, DL no longer has call centers in India.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...no-longer.html
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Old Sep 18, 09, 3:38 pm
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Hmmm...regarding the Diamond callers it doesn't sound like the big hyped special, exclusive handling that was billed in the July rollout. It was my impression based only on Delta's marketing that Diamonds would have specially dedicated agents. This makes it sound like it's all lumped together.

Not the end of the world but, again, more of Delta saying or at least implying one thing, then finding out that's not really the case.
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Old Sep 18, 09, 3:40 pm
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Originally Posted by n7371f View Post
Hmmm...regarding the Diamond callers it doesn't sound like the big hyped special, exclusive handling that was billed in the July rollout. It was my impression based only on Delta's marketing that Diamonds would have specially dedicated agents. This makes it sound like it's all lumped together.

Not the end of the world but, again, more of Delta saying or at least implying one thing, then finding out that's not really the case.
I think you're right. DL has advertised...

Premium Sales & Services - Dedicated Phone Line
Silver: Priority
Gold: Higher Priority
Platinum: Highest Priority
Diamond: VIP Line
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Old Sep 18, 09, 3:42 pm
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Good to know...

At least they are not flying the planes to these other countries to be worked on...

uh, oh... should I have even mentioned that idea?
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Old Sep 18, 09, 4:03 pm
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Originally Posted by SkyMilesInsider View Post
Will the service be the same at each location?
First, we would like to dispel the notion here that one call center is ‘better’ than another. In Perry’s eyes – the whole res organization is filled with dedicated, knowledgeable employees who work hard to service each call. Both DL and NW Res have long histories of providing superior service for our elite frequent flyers and we’re working hard to bring forward the best of those teams into our new Premium Sales and Service Res team. Keep in mind that due to systems issues, up until this point, Medallion members calling NW Res and WorldPerks Elite members calling DL Res haven’t be serviced by the respective airline’s elite reservations agents. The good news is that this should no longer be an issue once the loyalty systems are integrated (October 2009) and inventory systems are merged in early 2010.
This is indeed great news...one question I have is from the DL elite's perspective the legacy DL agents haven't been empowered to handle their needs at all times while from the NW elite's perspective the legacy NW agents have been....is the NEW DL going to continue the NW system of empowering agents? If so will there be training to help the legacy DL agents with this?
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Old Sep 18, 09, 4:06 pm
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Originally Posted by socrates View Post
This is indeed great news...one question I have is from the DL elite's perspective the legacy DL agents haven't been empowered to handle their needs at all times while from the NW elite's perspective the legacy NW agents have been....is the NEW DL going to continue the NW system of empowering agents? If so will there be training to help the legacy DL agents with this?
In what way haven't DL agents been empowered?
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Old Sep 18, 09, 4:10 pm
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Originally Posted by AndyTLe View Post
In what way haven't DL agents been empowered?
My thoughts exactly.
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Old Sep 18, 09, 4:30 pm
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I understand all agents will be empowered to some extent with various tools to resolve issues....From what I have heard, a DL agent is not able to reissue tkts, credit missing or retro miles and few other transactions, (I could be wrong)...anyway, this is all going to change in the newly formed Res organization...
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Old Sep 18, 09, 4:31 pm
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Originally Posted by SkyMilesInsider View Post
The integration of the programs and systems that support our agents will also provide us with the opportunity to become more specialized in handling issues. In the past, agents have dealt with an amazing variety of issues that vary widely from call to call which contributed to being a ‘jack of all trades and master of none’. In the future, our agents will be able to focus on specific types of calls and to provide improved service when working with your travel plans.
Unfortunately this sounds like a huge "phone tree" prompt system to me to figure out which "specialization" we need. Please let us get to a live person quickly.

And if you ever have a recording that says, "Our menu has changed..." please add "...as of Sep 25th" so we know if we have called since that date and know the prompts, no need to listen to all 19 options. PLEASE!

Thanks!
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Old Sep 18, 09, 4:38 pm
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Originally Posted by SkyMilesInsider View Post
[B]As we move forward, SMI will continue to work with key leaders at Delta and gather their perspectives (when we can) to share that information with you, right here on FT. Let us know your feedback - we continuously monitor your opinions. When we get the chance to provide insights, we certainly will.

Oh, and one final note that we cannot stress enough – we are doing our very best to get information out to you here, via e-mail and on delta.com, but please understand that many of your questions are complex in nature and it takes a team of people (at times) to provide an accurate answer. We could just toss out information recklessly, but we know that you will pick out every inaccurate, nuanced detail. That only serves to frustrate everyone in the process; clearly this is not in anyone’s best interest. Our approach will continue to be thoughtful – we monitor your questions (daily), review the issues that seem to be the source of the most conversation (weekly), and work on responses to those (as quickly as we can). There will be a bit of a lag for responses – so please be patient. We want to keep you ‘in the know’ because we value all of our frequent travelers.

Until next time …

SkyMilesInsider
Thank you SkyMilesInsider for your continued presence, and for providing updates. I personally welcome your participation in FlyerTalk, and I think it helps address one of the more constant complaints about participation from Delta in this forum.

Knowing that someone is reviewing the issues and responding, is certainly a great step in the right direction.
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Old Sep 18, 09, 4:40 pm
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Originally Posted by atldlff View Post
Thank you SkyMilesInsider for your continued presence, and for providing updates. I personally welcome your participation in FlyerTalk, and I think it helps address one of the more constant complaints about participation from Delta in this forum.

Knowing that someone is reviewing the issues and responding, is certainly a great step in the right direction.
I second this! Its great knowing that Delta is actually listening and responding to some of the suggestions and comments.
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Old Sep 18, 09, 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by atldlff View Post
Thank you SkyMilesInsider for your continued presence, and for providing updates. I personally welcome your participation in FlyerTalk, and I think it helps address one of the more constant complaints about participation from Delta in this forum.

Knowing that someone is reviewing the issues and responding, is certainly a great step in the right direction.
Originally Posted by majortom546 View Post
I second this! Its great knowing that Delta is actually listening and responding to some of the suggestions and comments.
I third it! Thank you, SMI.
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