Insider Exclusive: Great Customer Service Begins with the First Phone Call

Insider Exclusive: Great Customer Service Begins with the First Phone Call

This article is brought to you by Women in Buses Council.

By Pamela Brossman

As Chief Operating Officer of John Hall’s Alaska, located in Lake City, Minn., with a secondary office in Anchorage, Alaska, Elizabeth Hall has acquired a growing knowledge of bus mechanics, operations, and driving requirements, while also focusing on daily operations with clients. For the past 15 years, Hall has worked alongside her father and brothers in the motorcoach industry. John Hall’s Alaska focuses on luxury, inclusive land tour packages in the beautiful state of Alaska.

Before becoming COO, Hall’s responsibility was customer service and ensuring a quality experience from the time a customer first calls the office. While technology and other business practices have changed a great deal in the past 15 years, Hall continues to make sure customer service is the No. 1 focus of John Hall’s Alaska.

To assure this quality customer service, Hall follows these rules:

  • Great customer service starts with hiring and training the right people to assist guests on the phone. “Email has allowed our organization to have electronic relationships with our guests and business partners, but it is still extremely important that our staff maintains relationships through phone calls and face-to-face meetings,” says Hall. “Our staff answers the phone on the first ring, giving guests the opportunity to talk to a real person versus an automated voice machine and assuring potential clients that our organization will be there from start to finish should any questions, issues, or bumps in the road arise.” Often, clients come to Hall’s who have not traveled in many years or who make Alaska a once-in-a-lifetime destination. The staff makes sure the client has a worry-free experience.
  • Treat every client as if he or she is family. Unanticipated travel glitches may arise, including natural disasters, family emergencies, and other unforeseen circumstances. When these happen, John Hall’s Alaska supports and manages in any way they can to ensure their guests still have a wonderful experience in Alaska. Every situation is treated in a unique fashion, and every person or group receives the same exceptional customer service.
  • Design tour packages with the customer experience in mind. “Because we are a family-owned and -operated business, we have the ability to pair with several partners in Alaska to allow for custom individual or group packages that are focused on the customer experience,” Hall explains. John Hall’s Alaska designs, maintains, and administers tour packages—including unique, off-the-beaten-path locations throughout the state. They have several inclusive, guaranteed departures that individuals can book directly, whether for two or 22 people. Additionally, depending on the customer’s request, they can offer group charters that only include transportation or all-inclusive packages.

In addition to her role at John Hall’s Alaska, Hall also currently serves as the Women in Buses communications and marketing vice chair. One of her main goals within the organization is to create awareness of the many accomplishments women throughout the bus and tourism industry have made, whether on the front lines or behind the scenes through a variety of locations, education backgrounds, and business experiences.

Look for more Women in Buses Exclusive articles in upcoming issues of The Insider!

Pamela Brossman is senior editor of The Insider and Destinations.

About the American Bus Association

The American Bus Association (ABA) is the trade organization of the intercity bus industry, with more than 1,000 motorcoach and tour company members in the United States and Canada. Its members operate charter, tour, regular route, airport express, special operations and contract services. Another 2,800 members are travel and tourism organizations and suppliers of bus products and services who work in partnership with the North American motorcoach industry.


Melanie Hinton, Director of Communications & Media Relations, ABA
Office: (202) 218-7220
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)