Air Traffic Control UK

ATC failure highlights why disaster recovery plans for customer service are critical

Imagine this: you’re all set for a long-awaited Bank Holiday escape. The bags are packed, the excitement is palpable, and the adventure awaits. Now, let’s insert a dose of reality: a staggering 27% of flights, both departures and arrivals, decided to take an unscheduled break on Bank Holiday Monday.

While many flights have been rescheduled swiftly, for those still in limbo, it remains a confusing and frustrating time. Understandably, customers will want updates on how their travel situation will be resolved, and if airlines fail to adequately support their customers through this crisis, it could have serious implications on their reputations and customer retention levels.

The ATC failure serves as a reminder of the importance of disaster recovery plans for customer service. It’s a stark reminder of brands needing to strategize effectively for the inevitable turbulence. What’s the solution? A solid, long-term disaster recovery plan to handle emergencies with finesse.

In such a fast-changing situation, customers need to feel assured that the brand is available, should they need to make contact. Accessibility becomes the game changer and, to that end, businesses should provide an array of communication channels that seamlessly span devices and locations. In the heat of a crisis, a triage system featuring automated quick replies and AI-backed webchat can help customers get quick answers to their questions and be key to managing the influx of communications. But it can’t be the failsafe; you also need a human touch.

Patience, empathy, and understanding are more important than ever when it comes to diffusing potentially heated customer interactions and reassuring customers that their enquiries will be handled. A friendly tone, warmth, and a compassionate approach can transform a tense conversation into a sigh of relief.

people delayed at airport

That’s why scaling up is not an option; it’s a necessity. When the storm hits, a brand’s customer service team must be primed to increase the number of agents answering calls and messages, rising to meet the surge in enquiries. Having reliable partners on standby, ready to step in when the going gets tough and back down when the crisis is averted, could be a customer’s saving grace.

And that support needs to span all communication avenues. For example, if the customer is abroad and concerned about the cost of making a call, it might be more appropriate to use social media, webchat, or email to reach the company. With an outsourcing partner, this is easy; the adaptable communication strategies an outsourcer can provide mirrors the flexibility customers seek.

As the flights resume and the situation is resolved, airlines encounter a pivotal juncture. The insights gleaned from this period of upheaval become integral components of the air travel landscape, emphasizing the values of readiness, accessibility, and steadfast assistance for travellers entrusting their journeys to the airline. As this phase of disturbance concludes, the question remains: which airlines will stand out as sources of dependability?

Read more about FM’s Emergency Cover package here.