As the impact of COVID-19 spread across the world, the number of calls, emails, social messages and direct messages spiked from worried customers to Delta’s Customer Engagement Centers.
Delta’s Reservation Sales and Customer Care team plays a critical role in the business. In these unprecedented times, their commitment to delivering a thoughtful and reliable customer experience has not wavered.
“COVID-19 has rapidly impacted our daily personal and professional lives. We need to be flexible and react to the sudden changes with eyes open and ears ready to listen,” said Jim Gavel, a “Res” specialist in Minneapolis and a 40-year Delta employee.
Last week alone, Res specialists served more than 1.1 million customers, with many of those asking to change their travel plans. The Res & Care team is working diligently to assist customers, and want customers to know they are Delta’s top priority.
“When you help others, you tend to forget about your own situation, which can give you a sense of peace,” said Gary Zedonek, a Res specialist in Atlanta and a 30-year Delta employee.
Due to an extremely high volume of calls and long wait times, the Res & Care team encourages customers who don’t have travel scheduled within 72 hours to use My Trips on delta.com to cancel or change their flights before their travel date.
Delta also has implemented “no-show assurance,” allowing customers to rest assured that the value of their ticket will not be lost even if they decide not to travel and are unable to speak with a Res specialist beforehand. Customers will receive eCredits that can be used to book future travel.
Customers with travel plans in March or April are also able to rebook and fly until the end of this year as Delta has extended the rebooking date to Dec. 31. Read more on how Delta is making it easier to change travel plans here.
This week Res & Care took their operations to a new level, as some of Delta’s Customer Engagement Centers in the U.S. are deploying staff to temporary satellite locations. As the U.S. Centers for Disease Control advises social distancing, the moves have helped Res & Care create a seating distance of 6 feet between team members, allowing them to stay healthy while they serve customers.
Some of Delta’s Atlanta Res specialists are now working under the watchful wing of the Spirit of Delta, a retired Boeing 767 purchased for the company by employees in 1982, in the Delta Flight Museum – located in two of Delta’s original 1940s aircraft hangars.
Delta’s Customer Engagement Centers in Cincinnati, Minneapolis and Iron Range, Minn., have shifted to a temporary 24-hour schedule, providing flexibility to employees and more opportunities to assist customers.
“In our current reality, customers are relying on us more than ever for guidance and care,” said Tori Forbes-Roberts, Senior Vice President – Reservations Sales & Customer Care. “They are the voice of Delta for customers who are uncertain and uneasy, and this direct connection with our customers every day is – and will continue to be – central to how Delta remains strong during this difficult time.”
What customers are saying:
- “I want to personally thank Delta for my experience. The Delta agent that I spoke with over the phone was fantastic! Keep up the great work! I’m a loyal Delta traveler and will continue to be a loyal SkyMiles member.” – SkyMiles member
- “My specialist was so helpful, kind and reassuring as we needed help with cancelling and rescheduling several flights to try and get ahead of the coronavirus. We are long time Delta customers and because of her and Delta’s handling of this situation, we will continue to be!” – Delta customer
- “I just wanted to let you know that I spoke to a very nice customer service representative at 3 a.m. She deserves the highest score. I can't imagine the stress your representatives are experiencing right now with call volume.” – Delta customer
For additional information, please visit delta.com/coronavirus.