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Transportation, Travel,
And Logistics

Travel & Logistics

We help customers in hospitality, travel,  transportation and logistics improve call center operations in turbulent times.

McIntosh has significant experience with reservations, loyalty program management, consumer relations, technical and web support, and customer service operations.

Our professional consultants have provided consulting expertise to major airlines, global hospitality firms, transit systems, passenger rail, online travel entities, and global logistics providers. We understand the challenges confronting the industry today: increased environmental concerns and costly regulation, globalization, high labor costs, volatile fuel prices, evolving distribution channels, and industry consolidation. As firms navigate these turbulent times, contact centers play a critical role in optimizing revenues, enhancing customer loyalty, and reducing variable costs through automation and innovative operational solutions.

Our experience within this sector:

Airline

Hospitality

Passenger Rail

Mass Transit

Vehicle Rental

Shipping & Logistics

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Recent experience within this sector:

Overview

McIntosh has completed projects for major airlines, local and national rail providers, global hotel firms, and a leading global logistics firm. Initiatives have included operational assessments, the development of strategic plans, staffing models, sourcing analysis, and the implementation of performance management processes. Three specific case studies are described below.

Logistics

For a global client’s 20 domestic centers (3,000+ agents), McIntosh developed the five year staffing strategy and sourcing plan including an expansion of home agent resources, physical site consolidations, and an increase in domestic outsourcing.  Agent level job descriptions were redesigned to reflect the complex workload and specialization requirements and an implementation plan for migration to the new operating model was developed.  McIntosh managed an RFP process coordinating vendor site audits.

Concurrent with strategy development, McIntosh initiated integration of global sales and support resources to enable 7X24 global support for premiere clients.  The client has moved forward with McIntosh’s recommendations and is achieving the forecasted return on investment.

McIntosh has completed additional projects for this client:

  • Workforce management process optimization
  • CRM desktop deployment project management
  • Performance management pilot (two sites) for front line supervisors
  • Systems/business requirements definition for integrating two systems post acquisition
  • Quality assurance process design
  • Time and motion study to gauge the effectiveness of front-line supervisors
  • Kano survey to determine customer mandatory requirements, preferences for service, and opportunities for differentiated service.

Travel/Hospitality

A global hotel chain operating reservations and loyalty program call centers as separate subsidiaries asked McIntosh to assess the value of consolidating these similar but legally and operationally discrete units.  Three prior efforts to consolidate the units had collapsed as the organization could not reach consensus on aligning operational and leadership parameters.  As a result, the two organizations continued to evolve along divergent paths.

McIntosh worked with leadership in the reservations and loyalty program subsidiaries, identifying the challenges and barriers to consolidation, leveraging operational and customer feedback data to justify a consolidated operating model.  While the process was challenging, senior leadership and business unit leaders approved the consolidation plan with implementation resulting in the parent organization realizing the benefits forecasted for the consolidation strategy.

In addition to this challenging project, McIntosh has completed additional contact center projects for this client:

  • Quality assurance process design
  • RFP design and management for offshore outsourced contact center services
  • Analysis of system response times following new application deployment
  • Customer email surveys leveraging Kano methodology and Likert scale surveys to determine customer requirements and preferences
  • Sales effectiveness assessment leveraging extensive monitoring of call outcomes and customer surveys to identify optimal sales processes
  • Workload forecasting redesign and workforce optimization support

Public Transportation/Mass Transit

For a major metropolitan transit system’s customer information and consumer relations units, McIntosh conducted an operational assessment identifying key opportunities for cost reduction and service improvement.  McIntosh consultants addressed all aspects of the operation:  voice and data platforms, desktop and support technologies, management ratios, staffing and scheduling processes, escalation and exception handling, performance management processes, and human resource support.

Based upon our recommendations, the client retained  us to customize McIntosh’s performance management curriculum and to deliver a ten week performance management training and mentoring program for all site management.  McIntosh also conducted two quarterly sustainability audits to ensure continued adoption and sustained use of the new processes.

The results were significant delivering an immediate return on the consulting investment.  Comparing performance pre-training to one month post-training , calls answered increased from 82% to 94% (15% improvement). The average speed of answer declined from one minute twenty-five seconds, to twenty seconds (68% improvement), and handle time for customer relations declined from a high of thirteen minutes forty seconds to nine minutes, thirty-three seconds (30% improvement).  Productivity as measured by productive hours divided by paid hours increased by 20%.

These results were achieved when front-line supervisors learned to focus on relevant metrics, identify the root cause of individual agent performance challenges, and began to develop and manage effective performance improvement plans focused solely on upgrading the agent’s skills.

McIntosh has also completed projects in the transit and rail space that include:

  • New hire training curriculum development
  • Workforce optimization process design
  • RFP management for outsourced services
  • Pragmatic technology guidance for new platform selection.

Additionally, our Call Centers of Excellence (CCE) network includes members of the Transportation, Travel, and Logistics industry sectors with members of these three segments hosting CCE meetings in the past.

Industry Insight:

The Ease of Self-Service

If you are disappointed with declining usage on a self-service platform, evaluate platform functionality for ease of use.

Customers will not return to self-service platforms that disappoint or frustrate them. When automation is time consuming to use, when it irritates with error messages or repetitive requests, customers may simply avoid the platform. Your channel objective should be for customers to leave the automated experience, thinking “That was easy.”

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