Collette president Jaclyn Leibl-Cote said that despite a record number of calls for bookings in April, guests and travel advisors are only being placed on hold for an average of two minutes, thanks to upgrades the global tour operator made during the downtime caused by the pandemic.
In April, Collette reported over 29,000 calls — an increase of 50% over January. In May, Collette experienced its best sales week since 2019. A record number of calls have been met with just a two-minute average wait time.
Said Leibl-Cote: “As people worked from home during the pandemic, we realized that we could transform our call centre so that it was spread out geographically and better able to serve our guests all over the world. At the same time, we made a significant investment in the newest technology so that our systems today are state-of-the art.”
Today, 60% of Collette’s 140 Call Center employees are located at Collette’s Pawtucket, RI headquarters; as well as Henderson, Nevada; Vancouver and Toronto, Canada; and Sydney Australia. Prior to the pandemic, just 10% were remote.
Currently, Collette’s Call Center count is at 80% of pre-pandemic levels, but Leibl-Cote is confident that Collette will be fully staffed back to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year and that Collette will continue to hire as travel demand increases.
Said Leibl-Cote: “Based on the numbers of calls and bookings, we see wonderful things ahead—not just for Collette but for the entire travel industry and for travellers.”
Collette was the first tour operator to resume travel operations in 2020, operating 45 departures across the U.S. between July-October 2020. Since the start of the pandemic, Collette has operated more than 1,100 departures and has been operating internationally for 13 consecutive months (March 2021-April 2022).