Facing Coronavirus, Working Solutions Offers Guidance for Travel and Hospitality Industries

Dallas — As travel and hospitality companies worldwide deal with significant business fallout from the coronavirus crisis, Working Solutions, a recognized leader in providing outsourced customer care, offers guidance for sustained service as business as usual becomes anything but.

These recommendations are based on nearly 25 years of consistent service delivered during hurricanes, such as Sandy and Michael, terrorist alerts and the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak, better known as SARS.

“There are three things that are critical for effective customer service in an anxious, rapidly changing situation such as this, where ongoing communication is vital,” said April Wiita, vice president, Program Success at Working Solutions.

“These include enabling flexibility to deal with change, managing complexity with real-time expertise, and drawing from experience to ensure continuity,” said Wiita, who has led thousands of on-demand contact services agents through more than a dozen natural disasters.

Specifically, Working Solutions counsels travel-and-hospitality clients, served by a distributed workforce of industry advisors, to heed the following to ensure effective customer service in difficult times:

Enabling Flexibility

An on-demand workforce enables businesses to scale up or down significantly, 200% or more, to meet demand as events unfold—day by day or even hour by hour.

Through a virtual network, at-home workers are spread across the country or countries. If a situation impacts one area more than others, additional resources can be marshalled. If a crisis bears down in one place, work can be shifted to agents outside of harm’s way to continue nonstop service. It’s a mobile force multiplier. Such a fast-flex workforce can anticipate and respond, rather than just wait and react.

Said Wiita: “Flexibility lets you maneuver. It gives you options when the work can’t wait and customers need answers fast.”

Flexibility lets you maneuver. It gives you options when the work can’t wait and customers need answers fast.

Managing Complexity

Once they’ve exhausted all their self-serve options and frustration builds, customers expect solutions when they reach out to travel advisors. High-caliber customer service agents, handling multiple screens and apps at once, know how to process rapid changes and inquiries, and to put customers in dire straits at ease.

A crisis isn’t the time to train agents on complex travel systems and procedures when things go sideways—much less deal with “what if” and “then what.” Educated in a client’s business, a well-schooled workforce can step in, with real-time answers to address in-the-moment issues. Traditional call centers, which recruit reps from talent pools limited by geography, often lack that depth and breadth of knowledge.

Said Wiita: “These days, savvy (and sometimes frantic) customers expect expertise from the agents who serve them, especially during a crisis.”

These days, savvy (and sometimes frantic) customers expect expertise from the agents who serve them, especially during a crisis.

Drawing on Experience

Customer representatives with hard-knocks know-how, such as responding to multiple disasters and crisis situations in their careers, are critical during outbreaks such as the coronavirus. Its full scope and scale are unknown as scientists and governments scramble to find answers and contain its spread.

Travelers dealing with situations of this magnitude count on experienced, caring agents who are accustomed to working under pressure. Proven, these agents have gotten customers through previous scrapes. They can figure out the workarounds when reservations systems fall short or travel plans go awry—be they canceled flights en masse or denied destinations to quarantined cities. Calm and cool prevail.

Said Wiita: “It’s never easy because we’re talking about people’s lives and welfare. With all the unknowns, it’s worth knowing that an on-demand travel advisor can help get you home.”

It’s never easy because we’re talking about people’s lives and welfare. With all the unknowns, it’s worth knowing that an on-demand travel advisor can help get you home.

 

In such chaotic environments, the at-home business model performs particularly well. According to financial data platform Sentieo, public company transcripts with mentions of “work from home” or “working from home” have skyrocketed this month to 65 so far. That’s well above the prior monthly record of 11, back in April 2018. The majority of those documents also mention coronavirus.

 

About Working Solutions
With 24 years of success, Working Solutions is a recognized leader in onshore, on-demand contact center solutions. Its remote workforce includes sales, customer care and technical experts—with more than 150,000 registered agents in the United States and Canada. They deliver fast-flex business process outsourcing (BPO) services for clients and their customers across diverse industries, such as travel, consumer services, retail and healthcare.
 

Media Contact:

Springfield Lewis, Director of Communications
slewis@workingsol.com
19111 Dallas Parkway #180, Dallas, Texas
Phone: 972-964-4800 x334

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