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August 21, 2001 at 5:00 am #16053BigBlueBall NewsMember
August 21, 2001
Technology can boost but also overwhelm e-biz
If there is one valuable lesson Alaska Airlines Jim Quentin has learned, it is this: Be careful when you reach out to consumers with cutting-edge technology; the experiment may soar in directions you never expected.
The airline, one of the first to sell tickets online and to promote Web-based check-in, in January made a move to improve online service by allowing customers to interact with agents using instant messaging. The response was sky-high—but not exactly what the airline intended.
Instead of using the real-time chat as an aid for navigating trouble spots on the site, many customers bombarded the call center with inquiries on everything from current weather conditions in their destination city to the name of the man portrayed in the airlines logo. The effect was the opposite of what Alaska Airlines intended, as customer service agents found themselves waylaid answering pointless questions.
Find out how Alaska Airlines converted this apparent failure into a success…
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