Arminda Gaspar and Rui Neves have 25 years of TAP between them. Two distinct generations and, however, joined by the work that is developed in the Central of Reservations of TAP. Both have sold more than 1 million euros in 2016 and tell us how to obtain a commercial success on this scale, in a sector increasingly demanding and dynamic.
In 1988, traveling by plane was not yet within the reach of all people. It was precisely this year that Arminda Gaspar began her long professional relationship with TAP. She left Law and Journalism and began attending to clients of the company, passing by the store TAP at Marquês de Pombal Square, the tour from Lisbon Airport and the Airport of Barcelona, in Spain.
In 2014, the year in which Rui Neves Integrated the company, the reality of air transport was totally different. With a post-graduate degree in Commercial Diplomacy, Rui did not hesitate to respond to the invitation that would bring him to the Central of Reservations. "Coming to TAP was a source of pride. Having the national airline as employer is very attractive," says Rui. Two decades before, the same reasons brought Arminda to the Company: "always wanted to work at TAP and I eventually came almost by chance. As I liked it, I ended up staying". Both have seen on TAP the possibility of having a stable job and career progression.
Currently, the belief remains, as well as the taste for the job and which they highlight as the basis of its success. According to Arminda Gaspar, "The Central of Reservations is important and it is important that belongs to TAP. It is as if we entered here in the morning and we had a cloakroom with the Company’s shirt. I usually pass there and wear it". Arminda ensures that customers feel this difference and know, beforehand, to be in touch with a service that will solve all problems. Rui Neves also adds that it is essential to understand the type of client present on the other side of the line, what the situation is and what kind of services can be offered. "We have several additional services that other companies do not have, such as the transportation of animals in the cabin or in the hold, the possibility of carrying extra luggage or even transporting sports equipment. We have to know the products that TAP offers and tailor the sale to the person and the destination you want to travel," emphasizes Rui Neves. Arminda also highlights the security that many passengers feel when traveling with TAP and that always leads to seek the company. In this scenario, the only effort required is to adjust the call to the person that you have contacted. "Many customers call to know the price of a ticket and, sometimes, the rate is above what they are looking for. Before you go out, I try to offer dates or hours and many end up buying the tickets". Arminda recalls, with a smile, the day in which, being admitted to a hospital, was contacted by friends on a trip, which referred to the Central of Reservations, resulting in a sale of 16 thousand euros. There was also the episode of a rather unhappy customer that, after the explanations given by Arminda, ended the call with a thank you and two tickets purchased. For its part, Rui recalls a client with the desire to make a long journey and with several stops in South America, but with some indecision on the path to make. Supported in their geographic knowledge and willingness to help, Rui established an empathy that led the client to accept the roadmap suggested and buy tickets for the whole family in Business Class. Is this active listening for passengers and the personalization of each call that Arminda and Rui consider crucial to achieving a positive result in sales.
The Central of Reservations is made in full by employees TAP. Arminda and Rui recognize that this characteristic, associated with the flexibility of the sector, constitutes one of the pillars of success of this department. According to Rui, this is one point of contact "adaptable to any generation. It is accessible to everyone, whether you are a young man of 18 years who contact us via Facebook or a customer of 80 years that we call from home". According to Luis Garcia, the Central of Reservations, is a voice channel to which passengers turn to in situations involving a quick resolution. Stressing the importance of this is an internal service of the Company, Luis Garcia also highlights the orientation of service to the real needs of clients: "We have to be insightful, not with a purpose purely based on commodities, but in the sense of providing passengers with complementary services that often do not know and they will make their trip even more enjoyable."
In recent years, the Central of Reservations of TAP has been a demand increasingly high. To cope with the demands and with the goal of providing a superior service to the industry standard, is planned to replace the telephone exchange current with a platform more evolved, with capacity of multi-channel, while allowing the customer service via telephone, Skype, Live Chat and Social Networks. In parallel, is in a process of hiring new staff and the implementation of programs that aim to reward employees who best meet the objectives. At the level of training, the coordinators of the service will have the possibility to develop techniques for coaching and motivating teams and the remaining employees may rely on training in sales techniques. The Central of Reservations of TAP ended the year 2016 with more than 80 million euros in revenue sold, which represents an increase of 16.3 percent compared to the year of 2015.
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