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Jet2's Craig Davidson on how to keep customers happy during the coronavirus crisis

Jet2 has been recognised by the Institute of Customer Service for its dedication to customer satisfaction. We spoke to Criag Davidson, general manager for trade sales at Jet2holidays, for his insights into keeping customers happy during this difficult time

Do you have any tips for travel agents dealing with tricky clients during the coronavirus pandemic?

Ignoring the problem and hoping it will go away will not work, in fact it could make the problem bigger. So with that in mind, agree your message and your principals and then tell them to customers.

Not knowing what is happening is often the biggest issue for customers and once they know you are working on their issue, they automatically become more assured.

 

At a time like this, don’t be afraid to be honest and face up to problems too. If your teams are inundated, let customers know that. If you are working on the problem but don’t have a solution yet, let customers know you’re working on it.

 

Don’t let a void occur, because people will just fill that void with other messages, and they may be counter-productive to what you are trying to achieve.

How do you turn an unhappy customer into a happy one?

Take responsibility for the situation you are dealing with. That said, the Covid-19 pandemic is truly unprecedented and it means many things are outside your control, so simply acknowledging that fact can help.

 

As well as that, control the controllables. One of those is communication, so if you engage proactively and are honest about what you are doing, then you’ll find that your customer appreciates this.

 

We have been praised for how we have handled the Covid-19 crisis and that’s not just because we have made things easier for independent travel agents – it’s also because we have been upfront and honest about what we are doing, what we can control and what we can’t control.

How would you deal with a customer who is threatening to go the press or put a complaint on social media?

Whether a customer has called with a simple problem or is threatening to go to the press, your approach should always be the same. Take responsibility for resolving the issue and doing everything you can to make your customer a happy one.

 

An unhappy customer actually presents a great commercial opportunity too, because if you resolve their problem the chances are, they’ll be back to book with you again.

How are you working with agents during this challenging time?
Our trade team has been working around the clock to look after agency partners and we have implemented a range of options to help agents save bookings, including a self-serve system to help rebook, Rebook 100 & 60 codes, and flexible T&Cs.

 

All of this has been underpinned by crystal-clear communications, making life much easier for agents. As a result, we’re not just seeing amends, but brand-new bookings too – which is great news for us, agents and of course, their customers!

 

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