Gulf Air has established a call centre team that is dedicated to dealing with bookings and enquiries from first and business class carriers, as well as frequent flyers.
The top 20 members of staff at the airline’s state-of-the-art call centre in Muscat, Oman, are manning the phones 24/7, in a bid to ensure Gulf Air’s premium customers receive consistent and high standards of service.
“The plan is that we are constantly on call to those customers; whatever they need, we will look after,” explained Lee Shave, who joined Gulf Air as vice president marketing and sales six months ago.
“What we eventually plan to do is build up a concierge service for first class passengers whereby we book them a car, transfers, make a restaurant booking, and help them with anything they need.
Hopefully the customers will think this adds value.
“In Bahrain and Oman, we should be the experts.
I want customers to call us,” he added.
Gulf Air employs 250 staff at its Muscat call centre, 98% of whom are Omani.
The 20 employees designated for premium class calls have all received a pay increase.
Shave claimed that for a Middle East airline, the facility was “cutting edge”, in that it dealt with calls from across the globe 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
“In the Gulf, that’s unique,” he said.
The call centre had also helped drive credit card business to BHD 2.5 million (US $6.6 million) this year, compared to “virtually nothing” during 2005, he added.
See the January issue of Arabian Travel News for a more detailed interview with Shave.