Contact Centre Case Study: Edwardian Group London – For more than forty years, Edwardian Group London (EGL) has built on a simple ambition: to create Britain’s most dynamic independent hospitality group.
The Group is intrinsically linked to the capital – 12 of its 14 owned properties are in London. EGL owns and operates Radisson Blu Edwardian London hotels, The MayFair Hotel and a fast growing collection of distinctive restaurants, bars and spas including Steak & Lobster, and Scoff & Banter.
Committed to establishing upscale hotels in the city for decades and inimitably embedded within the London landscape, all hotels are stunning four and five star properties. Known for its presence in London’s most sought after neighbourhoods, with nine hotels in Zone 1 alone, the brand has invested heavily in its properties and technology and welcomes over 1.2m guests each year.
EGL’s contact centre consists of 150 agents who handle 5,500 interactions per week to provide a variety of services, including making reservations for individual customers, groups and events.
Innovation is a strong pillar and all hotels offer complimentary high speed multiple device Wi-Fi throughout, which is still rare even by today’s modern standards.
EGL was faced with customers’ desire to interact via channels other than only voice for bookings, reservations and enquiries. With a strong reputation as a luxury brand EGL needed to implement a much more flexible and agile communications system supported by new technology that would meet that expectation. EGL wanted to modernise all areas of the business that relied upon effective and fast communications, with a much more scalable and progressive solution.
EGL was also looking to reduce the time and costs that came with managing constantly changing staff levels. Making sure that staff were in the right places at the right time proved to be a costly and manually intensive process, so an efficient system was vital to better execute the distribution of its workforce while reducing associated costs.
To tackle these issues, EGL sought a communications provider that could deliver technology to enable a high level of service for customers. The aim was to widen the avenues for customers to reach employees for them to deliver services.
Firstly, Aspect and its partner Dell integrated the Microsoft Lync Unified Communications platform (now Skype for Business) with EGL’s existing Alcatel private branch exchange (PBX) across all 14 hotels. This improved communication channels between staff by enabling admin/office users access to Skype for Business conference and voice features, meaning staff were able to interact quickly and efficiently.
Skype for Business was closely integrated with Aspect Unified IP 7.1 (UIP), a multi-channel customer engagement platform, to bring improved collaboration capabilities to EGL’s workforce. EGL was then able to adopt email, SMS, mobile web apps, social networks and instant messaging, on top of the voice channel.
Aspect UIP speaks to Aspect WFM, which is an on-premises, workforce management and productivity solution that enables EGL to accurately and easily forecast staffing requirements across all customer-facing inbound, outbound, blended and back office resources, taking into account skill levels, scheduling constraints, regulatory labour restrictions, demand and service level objectives.
The new software removes the complexity in agent administration to provide the right staff support at any given time from any hotel. It also manages potential overflow to home workers at peak times and enables the reservations team to obtain customer contact information through a wider variety of channels.
The complete solution simplifies and streamlines agent administration both in EGL’s customer contact centre, and across the customer-facing workforce. This ensures that EGL has the right staff support at any given time, helping users manage workforce provision across the various channels and teams, shift work, as well as peaks and troughs in interaction volumes.
Since Aspect’s technology is underpinned by Skype for Business, customer-facing staff have the power to reach out across the business and connect with the most qualified person to help with a customer’s needs. Agents can easily spot the experts inside the contact centre and collaborate by sharing their desktops or files.
This means staff can address issues more efficiently and effectively, resulting in increased first-contact resolution and an improved customer experience.
EGL now handles 8,000 interactions per week on average, up 45 per cent than when it was using just the voice channel. Through a mixture of other strategies to reduce the volumes of inbound interactions, and the application of Aspect’s technology, EGL is demonstrating a significantly improved approach to managing customer care to improve productivity and deliver exceptional customer experiences.
Michael Mrini, Director of Technology, EGL, said:
“We always measure our guests’ feedback and satisfaction. We looked at our guest satisfaction with our contact centre and customer services before we embarked on this journey with Aspect, and we looked at it afterwards. We found that our guests’ satisfaction levels have significantly increased beyond expectation, with service levels obtained from guest surveys now rated at 87.5 per cent – a 30 per cent improvement on 12-18 months ago.”
Other quantitative successes are apparent in inbound call conversion, which stands at 39.8 per cent, up from 18 per cent 12 months prior. As for employee engagement, since implementing Aspect’s technology, projected employee turnover year-to- date has plummeted from 40 per cent, to just 13 per cent. The average employee satisfaction rating – garnered from regular surveys – have improved from 3.5 out of 5, to 4.09.
Mrini said: “The deployment of Aspect’s integrated multi-channel contact and workforce management platforms gives us a strategic technology investment that provides us with flexibility for future growth, something that our old system was unable to provide.”
“Working with Aspect has been fantastic – in the same way we want to treat our customers, that’s the way they treat their customers. Just like within our organisation, there is something we say – that is part of our DNA – which is the ‘yes I can’ attitude. Aspect demonstrated the ‘yes I can’ attitude straight from the start.”
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