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Case study

Answering the call for better service

The customer service operation at a travel industry client was overwhelmed and the company was falling behind its competition. We diagnosed the underlying problems and created a three-phase approach to overhaul the customer service department and improve quality. The strategy paid off: service levels improved by 35% even as call volumes increased dramatically.

  • min read

At a Glance

  • 35% improved service levels with increased call volumes
  • 20% increase in calls handled in under 20 seconds

The Full Story

The Situation

VoyageCo* needed to improve its customer service to keep up with stiffening competition.

The company's customer service organization was overwhelmed. Call volumes were rising, but call standards were heading in the opposite direction. Customers were abandoning high numbers of calls before reaching an agent, and getting inconsistent answers when they did get through. Agents were too busy fixing problems to work on sales.

Antiquated systems and deficiencies in training were the main cause, but management was spending too much time resolving problems to develop personnel.

VoyageCo expected its revenues to double over the next five years, but its passenger growth lagged behind the industry leaders. Indeed, VoyageCo needed to grow just to keep up with the industry's rapid consolidation. To win in this increasingly competitive environment, it would have to truly differentiate its customer service.

VoyageCo turned to Bain to help increase the efficiency and quality of its customer service.

Our Approach

Bain created a three-phase approach to analyzing customer service problems and developing and implementing solutions.

Our Recommendations

Bain identified nine key action steps to streamline the customer service structure and improve service quality.

  • Break customer service into sales and support
  • Restructure customer facing organization
  • Replace 2/3 of middle management
  • Hire 150 additional people
  • Conduct massive training
  • Implement quality control
  • Institute pay for performance
  • Create an escalation desk to manage travelers
  • Simplify phone prompts

The Results

Our strategy paid off for VoyageCo. Even with a 50 percent increase in call volume in one year, the company increased its service levels by 35%.


* We take our clients' confidentiality seriously. While we've changed their names, the results are real. 

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