What Happens When the Phone Rings
Since 1961, Time Life has had to answer this question given our core business model has always been “direct to consumer”.
From the anonymous operators in the early years at switchboards through to Judy the Time Life Operator in XXXX and now the cloud based routings through sophisticated IVR and live operator interplay, it has always been about getting the customer what they wanted in most efficient and comfortable way possible.
Whether we were selling books, tapes, records, video, CDs or DVDs, our infomercials drove people to the phones thereby starting our relationship with the consumer. That relationship is a complicated and crucial part of our success and blends the delivery of information, the response to questions (product, pricing, payment, etc.) and making sure the consumer is comfortable with the transaction.
When we went into the live entertainment business, what happened when the phone rang was even more important. The decision to go on a themed, week long music cruise involves far more decisions and the calls are that much more involved. Things like what ship is it? Where are you going? What port do you leave from? What types of rooms do you have? Who is performing? Where are the shows? What are the ports like? I have mobility issues, can you work with me? I have special dietary needs, can you accommodate me? I have friends, can we eat together? Do I need trip insurance? What should I pack?.....
Our reservationists need to be able to answer all these and more questions and they do. We work with a Company called Corporate Travel Services (link)and they blend a great knowledge of cruise travel with a deep understanding of the StarVista Live music cruises all delivered in the most charming and professional way. It doesn’t hurt that they travel with us when we cruise and are selling something they actually experience.
The rest is our job and is all about trafficking the caller 24 hours a day to CTS using sophisticated routing, call tracking, caller identification and expert marketing. What happens behind the scenes is critically important because it informs us about the potential guest (who they are, where they are calling from, whether they have called before and from what numbers, alumni or new, booked and have questions, looking to book or just need some more information) and suffice it to say that we want to, and do know, quite a bit about every caller before we respond-all of it designed to make sure each caller is warmly an professionally greeted and their needs are met at every point. As our cruisers change their shopping habits, we continually study and improve our web site and on line booking experiences, implementing live chat features and other techniques at every opportunity. All the technology, and there is plenty, aside, it will always will be a personal decision to spend a week and a meaningful amount of hard earned money with us and we treat that decision with a deep respect.