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Our client, the U.S.’s leading ultra-low-cost international airline, had a customer service operation that was anything but low-cost. In 2019, when OutPLEX took on the project, the airline was in an aggressive growth phase. In the five years between 2015 and 2019, the firm’s revenues would more than double. But their operating expenses were growing even faster. One source of this growing expense was call center contacts, which cost the firm $1.50 each to resolve. Executives determined that the airline needed a customer service system that would scale readily to keep up with the increasing volume.
The firm had been applying a customer care model that relied entirely on outsourced call centers. Rapid growth meant expanding these operations quickly, which led to spiraling costs for staffing and training. Worse, customers weren’t happy. The overtaxed representatives couldn’t work quickly enough to resolve concerns, leading to a customer satisfaction score of just 70%.
The international airline chose OutPLEX to overhaul their contact center operations with cost-saving measures that were ready to scale at the speed of their business.
Using one of our automation platforms, we developed bot flows which could handle most inquiries. This meant not just creating flows for knowledge base questions, but designing a more sophisticated bot that could handle irregular operations (IROPs). Because everyone’s travel plans are different, the automation needed to have the capacity to contain many of these more complicated inquiries in order to reduce wait times for human agents.
IVR (interactive voice response) deflection was another opportunity to contain interactions. By rerouting contacts from voice to automated SMS messages, we were able to further reduce call volume and decrease wait times. Containment grew rapidly, from under 70,000 conversations in 2019 to 1.1 million in 2020.
Many of these engagements offered an opportunity to drive revenue. Ancillary sales, like adding additional bags, are an important source of revenue for low-cost carriers. Adding sales-suggestive language to the bot flows was a natural next step as we continued to improve our automation through 2020.
The results were outstanding across the board – better, faster, and cheaper, with a boost in sales that we can directly attribute to bot flows.
By 2020, OutPLEX’s team was running operations that contained over a million interactions throughout the year. This meant a cost reduction of over $500,000, and this number continues to increase proportional to contact volume.
Faster response times helped boost customer satisfaction to 88% within four months. Happier customers were ready to add on ancillary purchases, which increased by 23% when we improved the bot in 2020. Now this client and their passengers are flying high again! Check in with our sales team to learn how OutPLEX can make your operations take off.
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