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Thank you for calling. Due to high call volume, we cannot answer your call at this...

Thank you for calling. Due to high call volume, we cannot answer your call at this...


Old Dec 21, 09, 6:34 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 15,729
Originally Posted by wirral View Post
Why dont you guys just call their callcentre in the UK?
Just dial a european number with its country code and your call will most likely be answered immediately. I have done this a few times now and I never waited more than 3 minutes. They are politer, too. as long as you dont mind speaking to a british person, you will be fine!
I tend to call the italian number and select english speaking.
might work out expensive if it is a long call with it being INTL
A good trick. Especially since it's only a few pennies to call Europe on many calling plans. Certainly worth that in this type of situation.
iahphx is offline  
Old Dec 21, 09, 8:45 pm
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Commuting around the mid-atlantic and rust-belt on any number of RJs
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Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
The problem for airlines these days is that there are many fewer telephone rez agents than in the past. In case you haven't noticed, people generally don't book airline tickets by phone anymore.

So when a storm happens, you simply don't have the personnel to deal with it. Not sure what kind of "on call" system they have. Like I'm sure you didn't have people fighting over the opportunity to earn overtime the weekend before X-mas.
I see. The airlines have instituted all kinds of fees to book by phone, but not invested in actual automation to handle irregular operations, and it's incumbent on the customer to roll over and take it. Got it.

If the Tempe brain trust had a brain (a stretch), they'd have set up the ability for their call center employees to telework. That would imply some degree of IT acumen, along with some degree of comprehension that there is weather somewhere in the world that will, from time to time, not only interrupt the service of an airline but might impede it's workers from getting to an office. That the technology has existed for a decade to workaround this is apparently lost on the Sand Castle.

That having been said, the technology that I've described and the behavior it enables (serve one's customers when conditions beyond a business' control are not perfect) are not something that an enterprise like US seems to be interested in. It requires a bit of foresight and management vision beyond a spreadsheet and the next conference call with the street daytraders.

Originally Posted by iahphx View Post
Right, there's only so many resources a company can have. This is the equivalent of a 10 year flood. No business could afford to routinely staff for that.
I had a unionized call center (albeit one of our smaller ones--300 seats) that was hit. The only additional cost up was the mandatory overtime. The agents are all enabled to work from home. Diversified industrial--in the worst year in 20 we'll clear $250m in profit this year.

But you are right. Nobody can staff or prepare for it. It's certainly not Tempe's fault.

Google "flex the business." Follow that with "capacity on demand." This stuff, particularly in the call center space is not rocket science.
ClueByFour is offline  
Old Dec 22, 09, 12:21 am
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 302
OK i agree that there are some better IT and management aspects from a CS perspective. But I did not have a sinlge issue...placed about 6 calls to my elite desk and the longest hold time was 20 seconds over whole storm issue...maybe they just route my calls to dougie parkers cell jk but I had great experiences with res this weekend!
CactusFlier is offline  

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