You may have seen me post a few comments on here so I thought I’d take 5 minutes to properly introduce myself and perhaps show you a little insight into life here at the Barcelona call centre. My name is Chris Cox and I am the Trainer for the UK and Dutch markets. But first, to explain my job properly, a little background of the call centre is required.

Here in the call centre (based in the World Trade Centre just overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean Sea!), we receive calls from all across Europe. These calls are from customers wishing to get a quote, book or ask questions about booking car hire with Avis. We have teams that represent 12 European markets and we offer native speakers in the following 8 languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Dutch & Czechoslovakian. There are 5 Trainers, such as myself, and we each look after 2–3 markets depending upon the languages spoken there (although I do admit, however, that I only know about 5 words in Dutch!).

“Induction groups” for new starters are the main bulk of our jobs. In the centre we all communicate in either Spanish or English but most induction groups are done in the agent’s native language. These inductions involve a 2-week training course that aims to give new starters the tools to successfully handle customer calls. Not only do they learn the computer booking system that lets them create the reservations but also the terms and conditions of rentals, the huge and varied fleet, the various markets (a rental in Dehli or Peking is quite different than in Manchester!) and also the basic soft skills (e.g. active listening, identifying the customer’s needs, explaining the often complicated jargon of car rental in simplistic terms, the type of language to use, how to handle angry or upset customers etc) that will aid them whilst on the phone.

This isn’t always the typical day for us trainers however. Depending upon the time of year we might be busy recruiting for the peak season. Or we could be training existing agents to take “overflow” calls (e.g. we train multi-lingual agents about products in other markets so that they are able to take calls for that country when it has a high call volume). We’ve also just introduced a new reservation system which has meant months of testing and a huge amount of work for an awful lot of people (us included!) but the benefits now seem to be coming to fruition.

But sometimes we need to “muck in” ourselves. When it’s really busy we might be up on the 5th floor with all the agents trying to help with any problems, taking calls ourselves or assisting the Team Leaders who never seem to have enough hours in the day either! Avis is also very committed to personal development and another part of our responsibility is delivering the sessions for our internal program of personal development called ARTE. Successful candidates attend workshops on topics like: Time Management, Coaching Skills, Leadership, Change Management, Empowerment, Presentation Skills etc. This generates a “pool” of expert agents who are always first in line when we have internal vacancies. Or we might simply be sat at our desks answering emails (or Blog questions!) working as the main point of contact for our countries, updating internal “help” material with any changes to our products or with new promotions that are launched and generally trying to keep on top of everything.

I hope this helps give you some insight into life in the call centre. And please let me know if you have any feedback about your experience on the phones with one of our agents. We’re absolutely committed to providing the best service we can so any feedback you provide to help us do better is always welcome!

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13 Responses to “A day in the life of a trainer at Reservations…”

  1. Anish Satish Says:

    Hi,

    I am applying for a job here and wanted to know how many agents work here in total.

    Could you please help?

  2. Vicki Wilson - Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Anish,

    Hi Anish,

    If you’d like to find out about current vacancies at Avis UK please visit http://www.aviscareers.co.uk/index.asp

    Vicki

  3. Adam Says:

    Don’t know whether it’s the same customer care centre I spoke to but your priority should be to train your staff not to say they do will things that then they don’t. I’m still waiting after a month to be sent an invoice for car rental that I was told would be emailed to me ‘at the close of business’ that day. I have since written to your customer relations department too but heard nothing either after two weeks. Rubbish customer service!! Avis have a lot to learn about what customer satisfaction means…

  4. Robert Says:

    Interesting, thanks for that Chris!

    Sounds like location wise at least you are a very lucky to work where you do!

    Regards,

    Robert

  5. Vicki Wilson - Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Adam,

    I am sorry to read about your frustrations.

    If you send the details of your rental to comments@avis.co.uk (including your rental agreement number) I will follow this up with our customer service team.

    Vicki

  6. Chris Cox - Reservations, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Robert,

    Many thanks and you’re right, it’s a great location to work although when you can see all the boats going past and you’re stuck in the office…well it’s not always fun!

    Kind regards
    Chris

  7. s jackson Says:

    This is all a load of rubbish. As long as your company is foisting off on customers cars with tyres that fail within hours and then saying that the customer has to pay! I suppose we have to be thankful that we survived – mostly helped by the fact that the motorway was unusually quiet, but how dare you!

    No longer a customer.

  8. Vicki Wilson - Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Dear S. Jackson,

    If you send the details of your rental to comments@avis.co.uk (including your rental agreement number) I will follow this up with our customer service team.

    Also if you have any other questions please let me know.

    Vicki

  9. Eileen McGeechan Says:

    This is by way of an experiment.

    I have been trying for nearly 6 months for someone to talk to me from Customer Services. If I record here that I have emailed your organisation today then I can let other bloggers know when/if I receive a reply.

  10. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Eileen, happy to follow this up for you! If you could send me your rental agreement to comments@avis.co.uk and I can see if we can find out what has happened with this. And I am sorry for the delay to date, 6 months is inexcusable.

    Rob

  11. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Eileen, I just found out from my colleague that you had already emailed your info in and this is being looked at. So no need to re-send anything!

    Rob

  12. s jackson Says:

    Now I see that you have added a refuelling charge as well! Since the tank was filled up and then driven about a mile I fail to see how you can charge £40.25 for ‘refuelling’.

  13. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi S Jackson, we have your email and Vicki sent into our Customer Support team. I’ll also send through your most recent comments for investigation as well.

    Rob

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