Have you seen just how many new officers the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is hiring? They are currently trying to hire over 6,000 new officers and it looks like they will not be able to hit these recruitment targets before the summer travel boom.
The TSA would screen about 2.5 passengers a day before the pandemic, but they are already screening around 1.5m a day right now. Americans are starting to travel again and the forecasts that predicted a recovery over several years are already looking pessimistic.
What does this mean for the travel industry and airlines?
A great summer, hopefully. However, while it’s great to see people travelling again and booking flights, the rapid recovery may be taking some of these companies by surprise. Many airlines laid off pilots, cabin crew, and customer service specialists because there were no passengers in the middle of the pandemic. How are they going to ramp up faster than expected?
I can’t help with the pilot situation – over half of all commercial pilots were grounded by the pandemic and many lost their jobs. Many ended up in jobs with no relation to aviation – like picking onions or stacking supermarket shelves. Although with so many unemployed pilots around the world now, I guess it should be fairly easy to entice them back into flying again. Picking onions sounds like tough work.
However, there is an extremely rapid way to ramp up the customer service function for the airlines. Use a GigCX strategy to quickly onboard and train agents who work from their own homes using their own devices.
In the time it would take to Covid-proof a new contact center you could have already hired and trained everyone you need to cope with the wave of travel that the TSA hiring spree is forecasting.
A GigCX approach will allow you to just focus on finding the right people and training them, not worrying about which customer service partner you should choose or where to locate a contact center. You can hire anyone from anywhere, allowing you to raise the bar and choose from the best. By offering much more flexible working hours and the ability to work from home you will also insure against future attrition – people with more flexibility in their working life tend to be much more satisfied with their job.
The TSA recruitment boom shows that almost everyone thinks this summer will be busy for the travel industry, but if you want to respond to this demand quickly and then build more flexibility into your customer service then you can’t just return to the old strategies that worked in 2019.
Feel free to get in touch via my LinkedIn. I’d be happy to share some more examples of just how flexible a GigCX approach can be – how quickly it can be set up and then the improved ongoing flexibility compared to a traditional customer service solution.
Have you read my recently published book ‘GigCX: Customer Service In The Twenty-First Century’? Check out the book on Amazon – all five-star reviews so far!