iowaman From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4312 posts, RR: 6 Posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 6638 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW FORUM MODERATOR
So I called DL to ask some questions about Award Travel I couldn't find on Delta.com and I receive an immediate message on both the general and Skymiles member numbers that "due to extremely high call volume we are unable to take your call at this time" and immediately get disconnected. While I'm sure it beats holding for a while, I'd rather be given the option to hold for so many minutes rather then told to call back later. This is a huge blow to DL customer service IMO.
crownvic From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 1795 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 6569 times:
Similarly, for the first time ever I have had customer service issues with Southwest..The last 4-5 times Ive called on their toll free number, you get a message that the wait time is 15 to 25 minutes and would you like a call back..I always go with the callback which works and usually is on time...Not as bad as the Delta issue mentioned above..In another unrelated case with SWA, I am also never able to cash in my rapid reward certificates on any dates I need...Very surprised as this was never an issue before.....
EA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13255 posts, RR: 62
Reply 2, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 6532 times:
Quoting iowaman (Thread starter): I'd rather be given the option to hold for so many minutes rather then told to call back later.
It costs DL too much to have you sitting on hold beyond a certain point. Everything is measured by average speed of answer (ASA), and if the ASA gets up beyond a certain threshold (say, 3000 seconds) it's better overall service to advise your customer you simply cannot take the call right now and try back later than to have someone holding for that long.
Especially when you consider the first 5 minutes of that call (once an agent is available to take it) is the customer venting about their hold time, increasing the ASA for the next customer in line.
It's not perfect, no - but sometimes it IS better to get the "can't take your call right now" message from a customer service standpoint.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
jmbweeboy From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 266 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 6516 times:
This is the "modus operandus" of many airlines now including Continental, British Airways, etc. Years ago they would keep up on hold for an hour and if you had a speaker phone it wasn't so bad. Now you don't stand a chance.
Just further evidence of the garbage experience air travel has become.
DeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8868 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 6483 times:
There are delays throughout the entire Northeast corridor right now that are messing things up - Delta general member reservations tends to go South in such situations. No issues getting through on the Platinum line though a few minutes ago.
FlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 6420 times:
Quoting MCOAviationFan (Reply 5): All airlines are probably swamped with calls now due to people stuck by the Spirit airlines strike.
Spirit accounts for about 1% of the air travel market in the US. Not saying it's not possible but there may be other things going on. Haven't checked the weather recently, however. I should add that this was the first thing that came to mind for me as well.
AirNZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 6330 times:
Quoting jmbweeboy (Reply 3): Just further evidence of the garbage experience air travel has become.
I'm afraid it's got absolutely nothing to do with such, but more a product of our 'modern society' in which too many demand instant gratification for whatever their whim appears to be at any given time, or what they seemingly feel is their God given 'right' to be waited on instantly. Sad, but that's simply what it is, and has nothing to do with air travel any more than with any other industry/commodity. Nothing really more than a slight inconvenience really but, at the end of the day, is something rather trivial so 'important' that it needs instant attention or else the world will collapse? If it is 'so important' then one can simply hold on the line until answered and problem solved. My own philosophy is simply if one's life solely revolves around things having to be done almost instantly, then one really needs to either change that life or get rid of the airs and graces of self-importance.
gonnagetbumpy From United States of America, joined May 2009, 45 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 6276 times:
When there are IROPS throughout a system, reservations gets swamped with people trying to rebook flights. Hundreds maybe even thousands of people try to get through at once. It is bound to happen at any company.
macsog6 From Singapore, joined Jan 2010, 520 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5408 times:
In the contact center trade, this is called an "ambush" and is put up whenever the call volume actually received surpasses the call volume forecasted by a certain percentage or when staffing is lower than anticipated due to absenteeism or other reasons staff did not log in. Candidly, it is usually a combination of higher than normal calls (due to the Spirit strike perhaps or bad weather in the system) and higher than forecasted absenses.
Ambushes are not that unusual during periods of higher than normal call volume.
Firms with multiple centers can address this by switching calls to another center than is not being overloaded, but when the whole system gets slammed, not much you can do except cut breaks, shorten lunches and put supervisors on the phones.
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 2): Everything is measured by average speed of answer (ASA), and if the ASA gets up beyond a certain threshold (say, 3000 seconds) it's better overall service to advise your customer you simply cannot take the call right now and try back later than to have someone holding for that long.
Were this the only metric a call center tracks, my life would have been so much easier. You track not only speed of answer, but also calls in queue, call duration, customer satisfaction, staff utilization, first call resolution, and dozens of other things. The Customer Operation Performance Center, an industry trade group, has more ways to track performance than you can count.
Sixty Plus Years of Flying! "I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things." - Saint Ex
tyler81190 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 611 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4979 times:
I have had this issue with DL before, usually it occurs when there is weather issues in one of their hubs, say ATL, JFK, or LAX. most recently, it was a weather problem in ATL for me, and all flights into and out of ATL were either cancelled, or delayed significantly. As you can imagine, there were a lot of people wanting to re-book, change flights, and check to see that they would make their connections. Due to the amount of passengers who are affected, they will have an extremely high call volume, and I would have to agree that I would rather not be on eternal hold, and just keep trying. But this is where Elite status will help with any airline, you will be automatically re-booked before any other passengers, Million Miler status with DL has saved my vacations several times.
exFATboy From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2974 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4777 times:
Quoting AirNZ (Reply 10): If it is 'so important' then one can simply hold on the line until answered and problem solved.
Re-read the original post - the DL phone system was not giving him the option to hold, it just told him to call back later and hung up on him. All he was saying is that the customer should have the option of holding or calling back.
Quoting AirNZ (Reply 10): I'm afraid it's got absolutely nothing to do with such, but more a product of our 'modern society' in which too many demand instant gratification for whatever their whim appears to be at any given time, or what they seemingly feel is their God given 'right' to be waited on instantly.
Jeez, a little grumpy, no? Who said anything about "instantly" or "whims"? It's not really that hard to imagine scenarios in travel where yes, you DO need to talk to someone as soon as possible - not everyone is traveling for a vacation, after all. While some people are unreasonable in their expectations, it's not unreasonable for a customer to expect a reasonable level of customer service, rather than being told "go away, and only call us when it's convenient for us!" Airlines are 24 hour businesses, and should have 24 hour customer service for the necessities.
kevin752 From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 725 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4633 times:
I have had this happen to me not just with the airlines. I don't think that anyone should base their whole experience with an airline just on this. Plus this is a sign that people are not using the tools that are easily accessible to them online. I hate calling the airlines when I travel. I just like to do as much as I can online. I had to actually book an award ticket with AA because they will not let you book tickets on AS using miles on aa.com. It sux I have to pay 20.00 for someone to book my ticket in SABRE that I could as easily do on my own. But well what can I do. I just pay and deal with it.
PI4EVER From United States of America, joined May 2009, 599 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (3 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 4542 times:
This is an old tactic of NW so hopefully DL will not be adopting this as a standard practice when the phones get busy. The standard Automatic Call Distribution system has the ability to place thousands of calls in Queue and provides the ability to modify delay announcements advising of lengthy hold times. Those calls in queue are monitored closely, and routed/overflowed throughout the call center network to get them answered. If all H**L is breaking lose in ATL, the agents in the TPA center are not going to be sitting there drinking coffee waiting for a call to drop in. It is also impossible to staff for a "never on hold" phone operation because you'll end up with a lot of employees doing little or nothing during the day.
Regardless of transactions completed on a website, there may be a specific need to call the airline and use an agent. A good example is booking a direct but change-in-gauge flight to LHR that requires a DL agent assign seats due to the different equipment. It cannot be done on the DL website unless you booked the segments point-to-point using the multi-city function. How many customers would know to do that? If I had been told of a lengthy hold I would obviously have chosen to call back for a seat assignment request; however, simply being hung up on/disconnected after purchasing $4000 in tickets would have really pi**ed me off.
Come on DL. You know this is not a customer-friendly option when the phones get busy. I already have one suggestion for you. Cost effective and efficient. Take those useless website "Chat Line" agents, give them some res training and put them on the phones. I had to call DL for those seat assignments because the "chat line" agent, even with the DL record locator, could not assign the seats and actually referred me to DL Customer Service via email.
Call Center Customer Service 101:
1. GET THE PHONES ANSWERED,
2. Be Nice to the Customer,
3. Be knowledgable of your product and sell it,
4. Bring in the revenue,
5. Thank the Customer for doing business with you.
I rest my case.