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Why your travel agent is probably on the phone right now

COVID-19 hysteria isn’t just about hoarding loo rolls. People are also bogging down phone lines with COVID-19 questions.

Whether you think the COVID-19 (and subsequent loo-roll hoarding) hysteria is over the top or completely valid, chances are you have some questions. And you’re not alone, with companies reporting a huge surge in customer phone queries. 



In fact, according to Australian call centre CDM Direct, impacted companies are reporting that more than 50 per cent of phone calls are related to the virus.


“Customer wait times for Qantas have pushed out to two-and-a-half-hours,” CDM Direct’s Drew Le Grand said. 


“CoverMore Travel insurance customers are being put on hold for upwards of two hours.”


But it’s not just airlines and travel insurers facing a barrage of customer COVID-19 queries. The most impacted companies include travel agents, tourism operators, accommodation providers and cruise lines. 


“Companies are struggling to cope with this unprecedented surge in customer contact,” Mr Le Grand said. 


And the problem with this is that those calls with other sales enquiries and customer support questions end up in really long queues “which is really frustrating customers”.


“It is already a really tough operating environment for companies and now they have this really challenging business disruption to their non-core business,” Le Grand remarked.


“CDM Direct has been doing a lot of call re-routing for our customers into dedicated Coronavirus queues to free up front-line staff.”


“We’ve been inundated with short-term assignments from companies needing assistance until calls return to normal volumes.”


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Written by: Gaya Avery
Published: 11 March 2020

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