Air New Zealand to boost contact center staff as Kiwis start booking travel

Air New Zealand has seen a surge in bookings as customers rush to take advantage of open borders. While this is good news for the airline and New Zealand, it is not without its challenges.

Leanne Geraghty, Director of Sales and Customer Service at Air New Zealand, said: “Bookings on our domestic network are increasing as people start to travel again, and it’s fantastic to see international bookings flooding in as we restart. popular routes like Honolulu, Vancouver and San Francisco. This week alone, we operated over 200 international flights, the highest in a long time.

“For many of our customers, these trips will be the first in over two years, and it’s different than it was before. The new travel environment is complex, and what we’re hearing from our customers is that they’d rather talk to a person than book online or use an app.

“We used to have around 1 in 8 customers call us before travelling, now we see around 1 in 3. This not only leads to more calls but also longer call times, with the average call handling time being of about 16 minutes – about 50% longer than pre-Covid. Although we have been recruiting in our contact center since December last year, we simply cannot keep up with the number of calls.

The airline is looking to add 200 more consultants, bringing the total to more than 450 dedicated employees answering customer questions once the training is completed in 8 weeks. It is also about redeploying other staff to help where possible.

“At the moment we are taking much longer to respond to customers than we would like, with a few hours waiting to speak to someone. It’s frustrating for our customers and stressful for our teams and we want to thank everyone for their patience. We want to get back to providing world-class customer service and are asking our loyal customers to support us over the next two months as we strive and hire new team members.

Recruitment is underway for Contact Center Consultants. The airline encourages people to get in touch if that sounds like you.

Why do customers call?

  1. New reservations

· How to use the credits, when will a specific route be operational again, connections with other airlines, can I use my Airpoints?

  1. Changes to reservations

How do I adjust my commute, what does my schedule change mean, I have Covid/what happens if I catch Covid?

  1. Airline Points Queries

· Account status, can I gift/share my Airpoints, I would like to use my recognition upgrade, what are the tier benefits?

  1. Travel preparation

What are the travel conditions for my destination, can I travel with my pet, my seat or bag requests, what are the different fare rules?

Customers can also find the answer to their question on our website.

We also recommend that customers download the AirNZ mobile app to be aware of reservations.

If you are an Airpoints member, log in to your account to customize your travel alerts.

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