Agents warned: pay attention to the phone

Operators and agents do poorly on call handling

Travel agents and tour operators risk losing business if they leave customers hanging on the telephone for too long, research has revealed. Clients are often angry when their calls are put on hold or when they’re referred to other departments more than once.

The “audio branding” firm PH Media Group audited each company in the study, giving them a score out of 100 based on overall call handling practice. Travel agents and tour operators averaged just 31, compared to an average of 33.

“These results represent a significant challenge for travel agents and could pose a threat to profitability,” said Mark Williamson, the group’s sales and marketing director.

“Callers are simply unwilling to wait on the end of the line while subjected to silence, poor quality music or beeps, so firms are putting themselves at serious risk of losing business.

“Good call handling is often overlooked as a key sales and marketing tool, but the telephone still acts as an important touchpoint and first impressions count. If each caller enjoys a positive experience, customer service standards will go through the roof.”

TTG Digital

[pictured: Swedish telephone, 1896]