Operator blames long hold queues on rookie agents clogging up phones

By Lisa James
13/01/2023
Home » Operator blames long hold queues on rookie agents clogging up phones

Suppliers say they are spending three times as long on phone enquiries because they’re having to answer basic questions from new agency staff who have little or no travel experience.

And they say they are worried that agents are starting to get annoyed and will give up on them.

One operator told Travel Gossip: “Agents are saying they’re having to wait longer to get through to us – it’s true.

“When they do get through, they say they’ve had to wait a long time and were about to give up. I tell them the queues are so long because we’re dealing with questions from inexperienced staff.

“We’re answering fewer calls and spending longer on the phones.

“I’ve spoken to four other operators recently and they are saying the same thing – this is why the queues are so long and we really want agents to understand that.

“Managers are getting the youngsters to ring us – and they have no idea.

“Yesterday, I spent one hour 50 minutes on one call, taking options and explaining everything, on a call that probably should have taken about 20-30 minutes.

“They’re picking up the phone to ask us whether a certain route operates from a particular airport. They don’t need to wait on hold for an hour to find that out.

“Another asked: ‘How far is 40 miles?’”

Suppliers are also struggling to fill vacancies, which is also making call wait times worse.

The operator added: “We’ve all got to start somewhere and I understand that inexperienced staff need training. We’re all short staffed – I get that. The poor managers are on their own in the shop, dealing with customers in front of them.

“In my own business, we’re also struggling to recruit staff, so I understand the problem, but I don’t understand why they think it’s OK to waste our time.

“It just reflects badly on us as suppliers and we are worried that agents are starting to give up on us.”

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