Business transformation and continuity during a pandemic

Africa’s largest airline, Ethiopian Airlines, was grounded by siloed systems and lack of visibility into the customer journey. By transforming its contact center with the Genesys Cloud CX™ platform, it was able to improve service levels by 25%, respond to calls 60% faster and decrease call abandonment by 17%. Now with Genesys Workforce Engagement Management, the airline can staff efficiently without adding more agents. And even through the pandemic, Predictive Engagement has helped to increase website conversions by 49%.

25% increase

in service levels

60% faster

call response

17% fewer

abandoned calls

49% increase

in website sales conversions

72% reduction

in website dwell time

Effective response

to pandemic without adding headcount

Genesys Predictive Engagement is enabling us to capture significantly more window shoppers on our website. Conversion rates rose by 14% in the first two weeks and by 49% at the six-week stage. And, we’ve only really scratched the surface of what the tool can do.

Getinet Tadesse

CIO

Ethiopian Airlines

Unrivaled in Africa for efficiency and operational success, Ethiopian Airlines serves 127 international and 22 domestic destinations. Like many airlines, the company is always looking to lower costs and improve margins. Growing direct sales by capturing every potential booking from callers and website visitors is vital to meeting those goals.

However, the airline’s contact center struggled with incompatible systems and information islands. Calls were routed to agents without taking into account language skills or competencies. That raised abandon rates, transfers and hand offs. Teams worked in silos using email and chat. There was no CRM system or workforce management; data resided on a central booking system or was buried elsewhere. The company lacked a full overview of the customer journey and real-time insight into conversations and preferences.

“We needed a single view of the customer, better resource management processes and greater flexibility,” said Getinet Tadesse, CIO at Ethiopian Airlines. “Also, we knew we were missing out on revenue from thousands of prospects browsing and leaving our website.”

Building on a solid foundation

The first step in the transformation was to replace an externally hosted contact center solution with a strong omnichannel platform that the company could manage internally and use to drive improvements and business growth. “The demo from Genesys was very convincing,” said Tadesse. “We saw how we could get much better control, reporting and accountability, while saving money by consolidating global phone numbers and removing the need for partner support.”

Live after two months, the Genesys Cloud CX contact center allows up to 500 agents to work more productively in a blended fashion, effortlessly switching between calls, email and chat conversations — all managed from a single omnichannel desktop.

Unlocking customer experience gains

Introducing Genesys Workforce Management further improved the customer experience. “Our managers never knew if we were understaffed or overstaffed,” said Tadesse. “Now, with real-time data, they accurately forecast and schedule resources, ensuring agents with the right skills are always in the right place at the right time.”

As a result, Ethiopian Airlines has seen service levels soar from 70% to 95%, with higher first-call resolution and sizeable reductions in abandoned calls (from 20% to 3%). Call-answer times have dropped from 20 to 8 seconds. And, the company can make changes like updates to IVR menus and messages within minutes — and without having to pay for external support.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the airline rapidly invoked home working. Despite an avalanche of calls about flight refunds and rescheduling requests, service levels held up well.

“We had been thinking of hiring another 100 agents,” said Tadesse. “However, thanks to Genesys Workforce Management, we coped with pandemic spikes okay. And, although we busted our license count at times, Genesys stepped up and agreed to waive any charges. That’s what true partnerships are all about.”

Growing website revenues

With two weeks of implementing Genesys Predictive Engagement, the airline not only gained insights about website journeys, it also leveraged artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics to uncover behaviors and interests of visitors. This allowed the company to offer tailored deals through web chat. Ethiopian Airlines also can engage customers through the website with attractive travel packages that were created as a result of tracking real-time statistics and data.

“Genesys Predictive Engagement is enabling us to capture significantly more window shoppers on our website,” concluded Tadesse. “Conversion rates rose by 14% in the first two weeks and by 49% at the six-week stage. And, we’ve only really scratched the surface of what the tool can do.”

Additionally, enabling agents to intervene and offer a timely webchat means website visitors get served faster. As a result, average dwell time has dropped by 72% to 2 minutes and 45 seconds. Data captured with Predictive Engagement is also helping the airline’s marketing department to improve customer offerings based on new insights into demographics and behavior.

We had been thinking of hiring another 100 agents. However, thanks to Genesys Workforce Management, we coped with pandemic spikes. And, although we busted our license count at times, Genesys stepped up and agreed to waive any charges.

Getinet Tadesse

CIO

Ethiopian Airlines

As passenger services start to reopen, Ethiopian Airlines is strongly positioned for growth as it prepares to ramp up from 30,000 daily calls and 12 million passengers annually. Future plans include integrating Predictive Engagement with the airline’s mobile app and creating AI-powered virtual assistants to help with basic requests and frequently asked questions.

At a glance

Industry: Aviation and travel

Location: Ethiopia

Company size: 500 agents (110 concurrent)

Challenges

  • Monetize website window shoppers
  • Improve agility, resource management and customer journeys

Additional resources

PDF case study

Infographic

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