Case Study

Streamlining Reservations, Improving Call Quality, and Reducing Abandon Rates and AHT for a Major Low-Cost Airline in India

Travel and Hospitality


The client is one of the major low-cost airlines in India. The client wanted a BPO partner to provide support and tackle issues they were facing with end customers:

  • Reduce attrition and backfilling of employees.

  • Reduce abandon rate.

  • Reduce AHT.

  • Improve call quality.

  • Improve process knowledge.


Our Solution

1. High-quality hiring and specialised, comprehensive training programmes

Hiring for this client has stringent client requirements on skill levels and scores. We only hire agents with a Versant score of 4 since that score on Versant means that those agents possess the linguistic

skills required by this client and are certified to be able to meet client requirements. The Versant test is widely acknowledged and extensively used as a credible test of linguistic abilities. We also test agent analytical skills and run mandatory checks during interviews. Only those agents who clear the client approved training programme are allowed to work on the floor.

HGS has placed a significant amount of focus on training for this client. Since the client is from the aviation industry, the cost of services, compared to other modes of transport is comparatively higher, and any mistake can result in significant losses for the client and the end customers. This criticality necessitated a robust, detailed,and comprehensive training programme. HGS zeroed in on a client-approved, combination training programme that includes: classroom training, simulation training, and new-to-production training. Every agent receives thorough training, enabling them to juggle multiple processes and achieve targets. Along with extensive classroom training, the simulation stage involves guided simulations on every client process.

This helps agents perform better when they go live on the floor. The simulation training tackles core training and operational challenges with scenario-based simulations and approach documents helping new hires gain skills and process knowledge. Using an industry standard training programme approved by the client, HGS develops software training modules based on our top call drivers, helping train agents on top customer issues.

Business Result

For this client, today HGS is achieving an answer rate of 85% versus the initial 60%. Additionally, the AHT has improved by 23%, and abandon rate is at 1% versus an SLA of <4%.

2. Providing support on multiple business processes

How We Do It

HGS supports client customers on voice and IVR for numerous areas pertaining to air travel in order to facilitate comfortable travel and better customer experience. HGS supports client customers in activities such as: making reservations, rebooking flights, cancelling flight bookings, providing options in case of flight schedule disruptions, adding and removing extra available amenities, answering enquiries related
to client policies, sending text messages and placing outbound calls to customers during flight schedule disruptions, load balancing during overbooking, PNR validation with outbound calls, click to call, and retargeting. Using an industry standard CRM approved by the client and widely accepted in the aviation industry helps HGS deliver quality services for the client. We also use a ticker, which is linked to the client’s knowledge base on the floor to update agents about situations like bad weather in a certain area and changes in flight timings.

We developed a new IVR tree aimed at identifying, resolving, and recording calls received pertaining to different travel agencies. This helps to distribute staffing evenly, based on the call trend on the IVR. HGS has also developed a dashboard for the client that tracks and records data on the customers who have been informed of flight cancellations. We source data on flight schedules from all major airports in India and inform customers using the client’s platform. Our support to all these processes is highly critical since any omission or incorrect processing of these activities will cause inconvenience to customers, negatively impacting customer experience and leading to loss of revenue for the client. Since the client is a low-cost domestic airline, there are some services that are charged, unlike international flights. We cross-sell and upsell add-on services like in-flight meals, extra baggage payment options, and seats with extra leg space.

Business Result

Multi-area support has helped us significantly improve overall service levels and productivity for the client. The dashboard usage has led to reduction in the instances of customers complaining that they weren’t informed about the flight cancellation after they reached the airport and asking to be booked on the next flight. This has contributed to better customer experience and satisfaction. HGS is now achieving 94%service levels for this client.

3. Emphasis on quality monitoring and achievement

How We Do It

We have established a detailed quality monitoring lifecycle to ensure we achieve the quality target, adhere to audit guidelines and provide the best customer experience. With call quality being one of the major client requirements, we attach immense importance to call quality training and monitoring exercises. These efforts include using different tools and processes like our proprietary OneView tool, the training software, and more external and internal quality and best practice initiatives to ensure accuracy in all processes executed. We also apply risk mitigation and weekly quality governance processes to stave risks associated and ensure continual meeting of quality targets.

To make sure we are listening to customers, we source their feedback from the client’s feedback ID and trace the complaints back to the cause. The intent is to always identify and remedy the causes.

Business Result

As a result of all these concentrated processes, HGS has steadily improved call quality scores by 134% since the process went live in December 2017.

Automation to improve processes ~10% automation impact

How We Do It

HGS applied automation technology to improve the existing processes for refunds, cancellations and for general enquiry calls. The aim was to reduce AHT for these calls with automation and improve customer experience on the call. HGS used front office automation to provide agents with BOTs which can assist them in completing the transactions generate the results faster than manual processing. HGS used non-invasive technology for BOTs. This ensured that client systems are not impacted with automation and have minimal requirement on the spend for automation as well.

Business Result

As a result of the automation efforts, there was a noticeable improvement in refunds, cancellations and for general enquiry processes. The automation resulted in the reduction of AHT by as high as 80-85% at the query level where AHT for refund calls reduced to ~37 sec vs. earlier 250 seconds, and cancellation call AHT came down to ~47 sec vs. earlier 280 seconds. The impact at the overall process level is projected at ~10%.


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