Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Oman Air Contact Center Goes 24/7

May 20, 2008

Customers of Oman Air now have someone at the airline answering their calls, regardless of when they call, 24/7. And by year end they will be able to reach the carrier from wherever they are in the Middle East.
Oman Air’s contact center switched to 24/7 from 7am to midnight Saturdays-Thursdays and 8am to 4pm on Fridays, the country’s official day off, on Saturday May 17. The contact center also supports the airline’s online travel reservations and booking system.

There will also be more agents to handle calls. Oman Air will have 85 reps by July 1 from 35 currently. The airline’s center receives 55,000 calls per month.
Airline spokesperson Usama Bin Karim Al Haremi explained that after-hours calls had been transferred to its ticket counter at the Muscat International Airport in Muscat, Oman. Since the counter also serves walk-in customers, on many occasions the calls went unanswered. The limited number of agents also meant more busy signals, which led to customer frustration and dissatisfaction, he said.
The added contact center hours and expansion comes in the jetwash of rapid growth for the carrier, which is owned by the Sultanate of Oman. Oman Air reported a 50 percent growth in its passenger volume in the first quarter 2008 compared with the same period in 2007 while sales skyrocketed by 103 percent. The strong demand led the airline to make 1,860 scheduled flights, compared with 1,373 flights a year earlier.
The contact center expansion is also timely as there will be more calls to handle. Oman Air plans to extend the center’s service area from Oman to the entire Arab Gulf Cooperation Council region, which also includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, plus to Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt by the end of 2007. The airline serves 25 destinations in the Arab Gulf, Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, Europe, and the Far East.
More services are now available by phone too. Oman Air customers can now call to purchase tickets and have them e-mailed to their addresses, using their credit cards, in addition to purchasing them online. While this capability has been available since August 2007, Al Haremi explained that the carrier wanted to ensure that all issues like security and fraud prevention were taken care of before making the announcement. Oman Air has also enabled its online booking engine to include more destinations.
With the expansion of Oman Air and online reservations the contact center has become the logical back up to assist customers, said Al Haremi.
Brendan B. Read is ContactCenterSolutions’s Senior Contributing Editor. To read more of Brendan’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

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