Answers For Freedom Air Online Bookings
1 November 2004
Real Time Answers For Freedom Air Online Bookings
Freedom Air is the first local airline to offer online answers to customers using its Internet booking system.
From today, customers booking online will no longer have to disconnect and phone the reservation call centre if they have a query – with a new Live Help system utilizing the ‘RightNow’ software all their questions will be answered online.
Freedom Air IT Manager Gary Walker says while online services are becoming popular many homes don’t have technology which enables them to talk on the phone and surf the net at the same time. “We’re pleased to be the first with this new service that will mean our customers can make their booking uninterrupted.”
“While most customers find booking online relatively simple, some may have a specific question, which requires talking to a ‘real person’. If a customer has an unusual question such as “Can I take a Malibu surfboard with me?” they will be able to enter this question online and it will automatically be received by the call centre. Like an incoming call, the query will be answered as soon as the next representative becomes available.”
Walker says a key feature of the Live Help is that it ensures the person logging the query will be able to stay online with the call centre representative until all their questions are answered.
“Because we know what the question is we’ll be able to pre-empt other questions and send on related information. This enables our customers to continue with their booking and take advantage of our really, really small airfare in one short Internet session.”
Walker says the benefit for Freedom Air is two-fold.
“We’re saving costs by answering queries online rather than through our call centre which is just another measure to help us sustain our low airfares. Our supplier has estimated this new service will see 20% less phone calls and 50% less emails received by our call centre staff. This is important as we look to bring a fifth aircraft into the fleet and increase our services.
“We’re also ensuring we don’t lose customers through them getting frustrated with the online session.”
Freedom Air sales and marketing manager Rachel Gardiner says it’s important people understand that being a value-based airline doesn’t mean Freedom Air is offering less in the way of service. “If it fits our cost-saving business model, which is focused on passing down the least amount of cost to the customer then we’re happy to lead the way with new technology.” Walker says in the past, early phases of this technology has enabled other airlines to take questions online via email, which are then answered as the backlog is worked through. “This can sometimes take up to a day and it’s been quicker for the customer to disconnect and phone the call centre or ring their travel agent.
“This can be a frustrating step for the customer who’s elected to book online because they want a streamlined process that also means access to the lowest fares. We want to continue to encourage Freedom Air customers to book online to ensure they’re getting the best deals and introducing ‘Right Now’ means we remove a lot of the frustration experienced in the past. “