Ash clouds, blizzards, migrant crisis & strikes…
Remember the mayhem of Summer 2015? The Eurotunnel train service incurred severe delays and miles of congestion due to strikes, fires and security issues regarding migrants that resulted in the closure of the tunnel. The impact on the travel and in particular the ferry industry was felt by all, given that the channel tunnel handles 90% of freight traffic from the UK and main land Europe.
Certain ferry companies however fared better than others through forward planning, offering alternate routings and having the right structure in place to absorb the shock.
You can’t predict the future but you can be prepared. This is why having a BCP and facility for call overflow-capture is indispensable in this day and age. This additional backing also provides a medium to reassure clients and staff in the event of a crisis and an influx of calls which your office may not be equipped to deal with.
In July 2015 one of our clients’ call volume more than doubled out of hours, which is when we handle their calls, and flared instantly by 30% in the case of the ash cloud a few years ago. In response we immediately increased staff numbers for these shifts to deal with the demand and absorb the additional bookings and enquiries.
Business continuity strategies are important especially in the travel sector as we have no control over politics, weather or strikes. Additionally, the increasing and wider-spread threat of terrorism has had a major effect on the securitization of the travel sector since the turn of the century and continues to do so, costing the industry over $8 billion according to MarketWatch.
Massive losses were incurred by airlines when planes were grounded in Heathrow and Gatwick in 2010, ruining Christmas holiday plans for thousands of passengers and creating a backlog causing delays and wreaking havoc for weeks. Often times it’s not the disaster that the company is remembered for but how it was dealt with. Reputation and brand perception is everything in the travel industry; credibility which takes a long time to build up and easily tainted with one badly-handled incident.
If not directly affected as a company, what impact could the next upheaval in the travel industry have on your business and do you have the right backing to shoulder an influx of bookings, enquiries or complaints? Could your company stand to benefit and maximise on passengers seeking re-routings?