A five-step crisis procedure will help minimise the trauma suffered by customers who find themselves caught up in problems while travelling.
The Centre for Crisis Psychology partner Martin Alderton said companies should first seek to defuse any situation by sending their own staff to the incident as soon as possible to show care and concern for those involved.
He added: “It is better coming from people who are obviously linked to your organisation. It’s showing concern and lets the customers know they are doing something.”
Alderton said secondly the company should seek to provide clinical intervention which involves promptly bringing in crisis specialists when needed who can do anything from providing counselling to helping out with hospital visits.
Thirdly, companies need to follow up on initial defusing efforts by contacting those affected one or two weeks after the incident while a follow-up on the clinical intervention as the fourth step should show those affected are recovering.
Alderton said a fifth procedure is available if necessary where the company involved in the incident should consider organising individual sessions for the traumatised individual should their recovery not be going well.
Meanwhile, ABTA head of business development and consumer affairs Keith Richards urged all members to review whatever procedures they have in place for handling crisis situations and update them where necessary.
He added: “If you don’t do it effectively it is the same thing as doing it badly, you need to have so many things in place and you need to plan.”