Customer Support Center (CSC) 24/7 support continues throughout the Covid-19 crisis
Thursday, April 9, 2020. It's 7:26 am when Sylvana and Jean-Michel get their first query of the day at Safran Aircraft Engines' Customer Support Center, located 50 km (30 mi) south of Paris. Work began at 6:00 am, when they took over from the night shift. This first call is from a Chinese airline for on-wing maintenance so it can get its plane off the ground again. On the 6-meter (20-ft) digital wall display, a light shows exactly where the aircraft is grounded. At 7:50 am, our front-office technicians get in touch with the customer for more details and confirm that they're handling the query.
The CSC team is required to provide a response within four hours. Even in the current unprecedented context, this commitment remains imperative. "Our mission hasn't really changed with the onset of the Covid-19 crisis," remarks Jean-Michel. "Our job is to ensure our customers are completely satisfied by allowing them to fly their aircraft powered by Safran Aircraft Engines."
Despite a sharp drop in air traffic in March, the CSC received almost 3,200 queries last month. "There's a lag in terms of the impact of the drop in traffic on our operations," explains CSC manager Marie-Christine. "An airline may get in touch with us some time after the grounding of its fleet. In the past few days, for instance, we've had fewer queries from European and American airlines, and more queries from their Chinese counterparts, who are progressively resuming flights."
In other words, there's no let-up for the CSC, which is on standby 24/7 thanks to the mobilization of most of its staff during the current crisis. "Technicians who work off-hour shifts rotate on site, while our daytime teams work from home," adds Marie-Christine. She herself is on hand at the CSC facility several times a week. "It's important for everyone to stay in touch during lockdown. So, every morning I hold a conference call for our on-site teams and those working remotely."
Both Sylvana and Jean-Michel are thankful for this contact, as they sometimes "feel a bit cut off", even though they're fully aware how important their job is. "Our customers need us, so it's only natural that we do everything we can to ensure their complete satisfaction. And we're not worried about having to come into work, since Safran Aircraft Engines has stepped up its health and safety protocols to ensure we comply with social distancing measures."
Their eyes glued to the screen, the two operators focus on resolving the issue for the Chinese airline. At 8:05 am, they ask Product Support Engineering to provide technical input on the basis of the information supplied by the airline, plus technical publications. Mission accomplished! At 9:45 am, just over two hours after receiving the query, the solution is forwarded to the customer, allowing them to get their plane back up in the air within hours. The light on the digital screen goes to green and then off. But another light already pops up – this time from a Moscow-based customer. Our tireless time travelers immediately move to the next job.