The Delta Air Lines Customer Engagement and Sales Support Center won a Gold Stevie® Award in the Customer Service Awards categories in the 2014 Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards. Delta Air Lines also received a Grand Stevie® for having one of the five highest-scoring entries in the competition.
The 2015 Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards is now accepting entries.
GET THE ENTRY KIT HERE.
There are even more customer service awards categories featured in the 2015 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. The deadline for entries is November 19. GET THAT ENTRY KIT HERE.
We talked with David Clayton, Customer Engagement Center Director – Asia Pacific, in Singapore for Delta Air Lines. He told us what winning the Stevie Award meant to his team.
“Our team takes great pride in this type of honor,” David explained. “It further validates Delta as a great place to work, motivating us to continue achieving and living our goals and celebrating successes. Building professional relationships between colleagues and customers with diverse backgrounds is a big part of our success. Affirmation of these achievements spurs us on to keep climbing, which would not be possible without the commitment of a truly dedicated and professional team.”
David outlined the importance of winning in the Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards and its significance in broadening awareness of Delta’s Customer Engagement and Sales Support Center in the region. “The Stevie® Awards organization is well known in the customer service industry and the trophy is a symbol of excellence to those honored by the award,” he told us. “Winning the Grand Stevie® in Asia and the Gold Stevie® for Customer Service Leader of the Year in Singapore gave us the opportunity to meet many business partners at the awards ceremony and enabled us to build on our relationships.”
David is also aware of the added-value of the extensive social media network utilized by the Stevie® Awards. “The English-language Stevie® Awards Update newsletter, which I understand is distributed worldwide to some 25,000 subscribers, combined with a further 17,000 views on the Stevie’s social media outlets, provides us with a great opportunity to deliver updates on Delta’s leadership position in customer experience,” David said.
A unit of Delta’s Global Sales Division, the Asia Pacific Customer Engagement and Sales Support Center, is a multinational team that provides support via phone, email, delta.com, and Twitter. The team supports both direct and commercial Delta customers throughout the Asia-Pacific region using various mediums in Mandarin, Cantonese, Thai, Japanese, Korean, and English.
Since July 2012, Delta has focused on improving the customer experience in Asia, employing a variety of strategies to drive satisfaction and establish a reputation of differentiated service.
A Better Experience for the Business Traveler
David gave us details of areas in which Delta was working to improve the business traveler’s experience in the Asia Pacific region. “Our focus is on continuous improvement,” he told us. “We have introduced a number of enhancements to the travel experience:
- our long-haul, wide-body aircraft are equipped with 180° full flat-bed seats in Business-Elite, which come with the Westin Heavenly in-flight bedding and Tumi amenity kit;
- we've refreshed in-flight menus, offering more food and beverage selections with a regional flair on both Business-Elite and Economy class;
- Economy Comfort seats now provide up to 4 more inches of extra legroom, up to 50% more recline, and priority boarding;
- and our in-flight entertainment, Delta Studio, offers an extensive selection of the latest new-release movies in international languages, popular TV shows, music and games, as well as streaming content through in-flight Wi-Fi.”
Delta appreciates that staying connected is a priority for business travelers. “In-flight Wi-Fi is available on all US domestic and certain international aircraft,” he told us. “And it will be available on all aircraft by the end of 2015.”
Redefining the Customer Experience
By building on its divisional brand–“Listen. Care. Connect”–Delta has refreshed its incentives program, tying in behaviors that promote customer satisfaction.
The Asia Sales Support Center (SSC) serves as a Business-to-Business customer service center handling phone and email requests from travel agents and corporate travel managers representing Delta’s high-value agency and corporate accounts in China, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Delta has expanded its workforce in the Asia-Pacific region, and ramped up training for its customer engagement specialists. The company partnered with the Singapore Workforce Development Agency to develop an in-house training program which results in employees obtaining their Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) Certificate in Tour and Travel Services upon completion. The company’s accomplishments were recognized by the agency when, in 2012 and again in 2013, Delta was awarded the WSQ Training Excellence Award for the Tour and Travel Category.
The company’s quality assurance data from 2012 to 2013 shows average favorable scores have significantly increased. Additionally, the Asia Pacific SSC has developed a great partnership with the company’s business-to-business partners. In spite of call volume for the Engagement Center trending upward between July 2012 and November 2013, overall Average Speed of Answer improved year over year—meaning customers get through and receive the service they need much faster.
Best of all, 96% of Delta’s Asia Pacific Engagement team employees responded positively to the internal employee satisfaction question “I am Proud to work for Delta.”
We asked David what inspired him and made him excited about the future.”I believe we have the best employees, not only in the airline business but also in the customer engagement business,” he told us. “We are a diverse team engaging our customers in six languages from all over the world. We handle customer interactions on phone calls, emails, and even on Facebook and Twitter.”
“I am absolutely inspired by the frontline Customer Engagement Specialists for their tremendous capacity for outstanding achievements,” David continued. “I celebrate the successes of my team through all levels and encourage a positive and friendly work environment. I believe we stand on the shoulders of the great Delta employees who came before us and consider it an honor and duty to uphold only the best in customer service delivery.”
About David Clayton
David Clayton is Delta's Customer Engagement Director for Asia Pacific and is based in Singapore. In this role, he is responsible for approximately 550 employees who support the entire Asia Pacific region in over six different languages, and fulfill backend requests supporting customers across the globe. David’s team works closely with Vivien Khong, the Performance Manager of the Sales Support Center within the Singapore office, to ensure that Delta delivers the highest level of customer service across the Asia Pacific region.
A 28 year airline veteran, David began his career as a flight attendant and has held roles of increasing responsibilities during his tenure. He also serves his community as a member of the board for the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) Tour and Travel Industry Skills and Training Council (ISTC). Under his leadership, the Singapore-based operation has not only increased in size and scope, but successfully partnered with the WDA to support and deliver a developmental program, both for the benefit of employees and customers, and as a means of giving back to the communities they support.
About Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines serves nearly 165 million customers each year. This year, Delta was named the 2014 Airline of the Year by Air Transport World magazine and was named to FORTUNE magazine’s 50 Most Admired Companies, in addition to being named the most admired airline for the third time in four years. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 318 destinations in 57 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs nearly 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. The airline is a founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance and participates in the industry’s leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia as well as a newly formed joint venture with Virgin Atlantic. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 15,000 daily flights, with key hubs and markets including Amsterdam, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, New York-LaGuardia, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City, Seattle and Tokyo-Narita. Delta has invested billions of dollars in airport facilities, global products, services, and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Additional information is available on delta.com, Twitter @Delta, Google.com/+Delta, Facebook.com/delta and Delta’s blog takingoff.delta.com.