08 November 2018
Last Minute Travel Questions This Christmas?
In December 2017, over three million domestic passengers passed through airports located within the UK. The airports with the highest amounts of traffic were:
- Edinburgh, 387,337
- London Heathrow, 384,350
- Glasgow , 307,835
- London Gatwick, 299,201
- Belfast International, 294,470
Many consumers rely on last minute deals for their Christmas getaways, including city breaks for Christmas markets across Europe, and family holidays to Lapland and ski resorts. Whereas, some travellers may need to suddenly rearrange their travel plans due to a change in weather or family situations. Each airport records the difference between passenger traffic they have scheduled compared with the actual amount of passenger traffic they received.
Across these five airports, they experienced an increase in passenger traffic. This means that the airports hadn’t prepared to accommodate these additional passengers, therefore they had to provide great customer service and offer the best results that they could on a whim, during the busy period.
Accommodating Your Online Visitors
The example of the airports shows that an organisation can only prepare for so much. Things are always going to happen unexpectedly.
If a consumer is looking for a last minute deal or needs to make a change to an existing booking, they are expecting simplicity. Should they experience any issues, they require help instantly, which can be a challenge over the Christmas period when operating with skeleton staff.
Live chat for website is the quickest communication channel for consumers to contact an organisation with their travel enquiry. Directly from the website, the visitor is instantly connected with a representative in real-time. Due to the discreetness of live chat, it allows enquirers to use the service from any location, e.g. in a hotel lobby, in an airport, or on the train.
When operating with fewer members of staff over Christmas, live chat for website enables these representatives to handle consumer enquiries more efficiently as one operator can comfortably handle more than one chat simultaneously.
Each chat varies in terms of the complexity of the enquiry and how quickly the visitor responds; therefore when the operator reaches their personal capacity they can simply switch themselves to unavailable to prevent any further chats being directed to them.
Managing the workload in this manner ensures that enquiries are being handled in the most productive way. More consumers are having their questions answered at the same time, but not too many for the level of service to decline.
An alternative method to handling chats when staff resources are stretched, is the use of a chatbot. The AI functionality can be optimised in two ways. The first way teaches the bot to ask the visitor a series of prequalifying questions. Once they have all been asked and responded to, the bot transfers the chat to a representative who can continue the conversation now that the enquirer has been identified as a new or existing customer.
The second way a chatbot can be implemented into your customer service strategy for the Christmas period, is to teach it to answer frequently asked questions. This can range from how to change booking details to specific information such as does the hotel have a gym facility or will the flight have entertainment etc. Should a visitor asked a question that the bot doesn’t know the answer to it can transfer the chat to another operator or offer an alternative contact method such a request a call back or email address.
This is useful over the Christmas period as the bot can reduce the amount of chats that actually need an operator’s attention, and therefore contribute to covering the workload when fewer members of staff are available. As the chatbot can be available 24/7 it can provide answers when representatives are not in the office.
For organisations operating a human based live chat for website solution, when the agents are not available over the holidays the chat button can be hidden or present an offline form. This can be configured to gather the enquirer’s details so that the representatives can contact them when they are available, alternative the space can be optimised to present the organisations operational hours and alternative contact methods.
Click4Assistance has been providing live chat to the travel industry for nearly 15 years. For more information regarding how your organisation can implement live chat for website or chatbot functionality in time for Christmas, speak with our team on 01268 524628 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.