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Travel Industry Phone Systems

A CASE STUDY: The travel industry has its own challenges when it comes to communication with staff spending an inordinate amount of time on the phone every day and the associated issues that come from that.

Below you'll find a case study from a customer that highlights these and the solution we provided to address them.

Current Situation Of The Travel Agency:

7 employees

The Avaya IP 500 office was a great choice for them. They also looked at the Cisco UC 320 but decided the Avaya was their preferred option.

Travel Agency had physically outgrown their previous phone system as it could only support a limited amount of phone lines.

They spent most of their day on the phone and spent a lot of time on hold with airlines, accommodation, car hire etc.

If agents were stuck on the phone incoming callers were being compromised.

Costs were also important because their monthly phone bill was very high.

They all answered calls and did not have a dedicated receptionist. They all took handwritten messages for each other.

After hours calls went to an answering machine which sounded awful.

The Brief From The Travel Agency Manager:

To have a system that:

  • Can deal with their unique call handling situation
  • Staff Comfort
  • Has to be affordable
  • Cut costs where possible
  • Never miss a travel enquiry
  • Makes them sound more professional
  • Easy Finance options

The Solution:

The Avaya IP 500 office was a great choice for them. They also looked at the Cisco UC 320 but decided the Avaya was their preferred option.

It may sound a little strange but at the managers request we actually installed 2 phones on each desk. As they spend up to an hour on hold this allowed staff to hear their progress whilst still dealing with clients on the other phone. Productivity jumped dramatically and staff weren't as frustrated waiting on hold for long periods. They could hear the on hold progress through the speaker phone and not have to toggle back and forth and potentially have to start the waiting over again.

Staff Comfort

Here we installed the latest Sennheiser wireless headsets with additional noise cancelling. This cut down background noise and the cordless headsets freed them up to move around and grab brochures etc whilst on a call. Plus by putting a spare headset base station on the extra phone they can actually use the one headset on both desk phones! Read more...

No more handwritten messages with voicemail.

We installed Voicemail so that customers now leave messages for their travel agent. They no longer have to take message for each other and this has saved time and money! Because the voicemail is personal and private, customers now leave detailed messages which saves having to ring back to find out what they want.

Direct Staff Numbers

When we implemented SIP trunking (VoIP) for the client we also gave their staff direct numbers. This means people can ring them back directly without having to bother other staff members. And because they have voicemail, it's not an issue if they are on the phone or not. In order to provide the best service to the customer, their individual voicemails actually say, " hi you've called Adrian Hardy from ACME Travel, I am currently on a call, or away from my desk however please leave a message and I will return your call. Alternatively if you would like to speak to another travel assistant please press 1." By pressing 1 this then transfers the call to all other available travel agents.

It's smart, effective and customers decide how they would like to be served. There were no problems with travel agents poaching other clients because of the incentive structure the manager had put in place. This option to be transferred can be turned off at any time if they decide to change the way they do business.

The Avaya IP Office 500 is designed to perform faultlessly with the latest SIP trunking (advanced type of VoIP phone lines). The savings they experienced were phenomenal and the call quality delivered by the Avaya and the SIP trunks is faultless.

Who's answering the incoming call?

Here we installed an Auto Attendant acts as a backup for all staff. Typically the staff were very good at getting to incoming calls but this offers a guarantee for the manager. Rather than staff having to stop a call to answer another, the Auto Attendant now answers after 5 rings and says "Thank you for calling ACME Travel, your call is important and we will be with you in a moment". This ensures they never miss calls, and it sounds incredibly professional.

No more answering machine after hours

The Auto Attendant now also professionally answers after hours too. The system can even answer multiple calls at once and callers leave messages that a nominated staff member listens to every morning.

Sounding more professional

Here we installed Professional Messages On Hold – this capped off the solution and made their business sound incredibly professional. They now tell callers about all the various destinations they deal with, travel insurance, FAQ and so on and clients don't mind waiting anymore… Read more...

Cutting costs

We provided the client with a complete VoIP SIP trunking solution. This allowed them to cut their phone bills by over 60%.

The biggest saving came in not having to pay expensive line rentals anymore. By putting in two phones per person they potentially needed up to 14 phone lines. With Telstra this would have cost over $490 per month just in line rentals. With SIP trunking they got all the lines they needed at a fraction of the price saving them $100's per month.

Plus, the SIP call rates were considerably better than even their buying group had been able to negotiate.

Conclusion

The customer has uniquely, and completely, customised this solution to maximise staff productivity without compromising customer service. When we saw it in operation we think the addition of 2 handsets per agent was a stroke of genius! Can you imagine having to wait for that long or losing the call... In consultation with our experts we think they now have an excellent solution for their unique needs.

Needless to say the owner was very happy with the money saved and what the staff can now do with the extra line and handset.

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