Virtual roundtable

Building a conversational airline

Virgin Atlantic’s journey with AI-powered messaging & the foundation that prepared them for unforeseen contact volume.

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Event details


August 27, 2020


4:00 PM - 5:00 PM BST /
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM EDT

What to expect:

Hear from Virgin Atlantic's former Head of Operational Development and Change on the airline's journey with AI-powered messaging. Learn how their conversational foundation helped Virgin Atlantic operate in unprecedented times.

The new era of travel

If you looked at Virgin Atlantic’s contact centre a few years ago, you’d see a traditional model, highly dependent on channels like voice, email, and self-service via their website. But with so much of their customer contact coming in at touch-and-go moments for their customers they realized that these channels weren’t providing an optimal experience. Enter: messaging and conversational AI.

David Saines, former Head of Operational Development and Change at Virgin Atlantic was charged with transforming this contact centre operation to create asynchronous, unintrusive, high-quality customer interactions at scale. Saines will walk us through his experience with the Virgin Atlantic team, including:

  • The impact of introducing SMS to customers via IVR deflection and clever promotion on their website
  • How WhatsApp entered the scene and quickly became their highest performing channel overall in CSAT
  • Messaging’s role in managing volume and increasing first-contact resolution

Program speaker

Meet the innovator

David Saines
Former Head of Operational Development and Change, Virgin Atlantic

While at Virgin Atlantic, David Saines was responsible for developing and delivering a 3 year Change and Transformation plan. He led a team of Operational Change Managers to deliver large scale change across Virgin Atlantic’s global contact centres, ranging from new technology, to Joint Ventures, to organisational change, and beyond. Saines was also responsible for identifying opportunities for business improvement and investment in collaboration with new and existing partners, in line with the customer centre and business wide strategy.

Saines is now an independent management consultant with a proven track record in leading large scale contact centre transformation, effective change management, continuous improvement and operational excellence. He works to help leaders define and achieve their contact centre vision.

David Saines

Former Head of Operational Development and Change, Virgin Atlantic

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Join an exclusive group of senior executives for an ongoing series of virtual roundtables

This is the fourth installment of a new series where we explore the future of the contact center and customer care. Our take? For the traditional contact center — with hundreds of people sitting side by side, taking calls to service one customer at a time — there simply is no future. The contact center as we know it today is over. Come together with your peers to discuss how conversational AI and messaging are shaping what's next.

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