Since they were founded in 2012, Volotea, the low-cost Spanish airline, has partnered with Sitel Group for their customer experience management solutions. Last May, Volotea and Sitel Group celebrated their fifth anniversary.
“Sitel’s relationship with Volotea shows our commitment to start-up companies,” said Esmeralda Mingo, General Manager of Sitel Group Spain, Italy and Portugal. “We began with four agents and have since grown exponentially with the company. They now service more destinations, aircrafts, employees and customers – which means more customer service!”
Sitel Group has around 55 full-time agents for Volotea, and from May to November the agent count increases to 180 for their high season.
Sitel Group recently spoke with Sergi Méndez, Volotea’s customer care manager to learn more about what made this partnership take off.
Volotea, the airline of small to mid-sized European cities, offers direct flights at very competitive prices.
In its sixth year of operation, Volotea keeps on growing: the company, which had two bases in 2012 (Venice and Nantes), will have nine bases in 2017: Venice, Nantes, Bordeaux, Palermo, Strasbourg, Asturias Verona, Toulouse and Genoa, which was launched in April. In 2017 Volotea added more than 40 routes to serve a lineup of 243 routes, operating flights to 79 European cities in 16 countries:
France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Greece, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Israel, Albania, Moldavia, Portugal, Malta, UK, Austria, Ireland and Luxembourg. This year, Volotea expects to carry 4.3 million passengers.
We offer direct connecting flights at very competitive rates, during reasonable travel hours. We have established friendly airport environments that are well implemented within the local areas. We are grateful to have the support of our customers who have embraced this business model and appreciate the level of our customer care. Our aim is for our passengers to spend more time at their destination and less time on the journey.
I am Volotea´s customer care manager which means I am in charge of every interaction with the customer. My primary task is to manage our contact center and through it, all the channels available to the customers. I also supervise the whole customer process, which begins with the purchase experience and continues at the airport, on board, at the baggage claim and till the passenger returns home.
I worked at Sitel Group on several campaigns within different industries, mainly in the sectors of utilities and airline companies. I was lucky to experience a wide array of industries which has helped me to reach a comprehensive understanding of customer service in terms of business needs. I have now created a cohesive model of customer service drawn from best practices I’ve observed and selected based on my experience.
Volotea’s culture is mainly based on our values: Safety, Caring, Quick-learning, Client Conscious and Simplicity. These values are our reference for making decisions and tending to customers and suppliers. This is what we really want to transmit to our clients when they choose Volotea and they contact us for any question or request.
When we founded Volotea as a start-up in 2012, we wanted to set up an efficient contact center that could be live at the same time as our website. Sitel, compared with its competitors, was the quickest to react and prepare the whole campaign: with four agents – two of them French and two Italians – at the time. In addition to their experience in the contact center industry, these are the main reasons why we chose them.
We have a close collaboration based on a mutual learning process, which is essential to achieve the best service levels. The excellent communication between both companies is key to swiftly manage and answer any user’s questions. Both sides have experienced a few setbacks at some point in our collaboration; but, we always ended up with better results, year after year. And currently, our levels are especially high so that´s what we are proud of.
Its international scope. Sitel Group is the perfect partner with whom we can now consolidate our presence in the countries in which we are already established, while continuing to grow and develop in new markets.
Also, we are especially proud of the most recent award we received: we were elected Best Customer Service of 2016 in Spain, and Sitel Group played an instrumental role in this achievement.
From the beginning, our purpose was to be a customer-centric company. Our motto has always been: “we think on a human level: we don’t follow the crowd, we cater to the individual.” For this reason, we invested in analytical tools in order to get a better approach to our customers (their preferences, tastes, flight routines, etc.) which enable us to offer them the best and fastest solutions. It is obvious that the more you know your customers, the more flexible you can be when working with them. In the short term, the main challenge is to provide an excellent quality of service on multiple channels, including digital channels. Furthermore, it is important to integrate all of them at each “moment of truth” along the customer journey. In other words, when a customer compares prices between different competitors, at the point before the make their purchase, when they are using our product/service and even afterwards. We must keep in mind that while call channels are still currently the preferred point of contact for the majority of customers, digital channels can have a greater impact on brand reputation.
This is an extremely competitive industry where the differentiating edge is no longer the price (that´s outdated). We all know what makes the difference is the customer experience: communication, flight information availability, provide technological integrated service, etc. From the beginning in 2012, we have always known that customers are our most valuable asset, and we have to be focused on providing them with the best service.