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Improving Performance Through Telecoms and 'Self Service' Customer Contact

Delta Squared see a developing market for helping clients take advantage of low cost channels to market and the opportunity to deliver greater convenience to customers through 'self service' as opposed to the more traditional telephone and call centre approach.

Our experience has shown that new technologies, which have been installed and proven successful by brand leaders in automotive and telecoms industries, can also make significant improvements in levels of customer service, performance and margin when introduced to the hospitality sector.

Delta Squared believe that the hospitality sector is in a great position to realign voice contact much closer to their website and drive 'self service' to reduce costs, increase sales and increase profits.

This approach applies equally to in-house and outsourced voice operations. Using a 'hosted' business model, Delta Squared provide a flexible testing platform with short implementation times and low levels of integration to clients website, thus keeping set up costs to a minimum. Charging models are also flexible. By using a combination of fixed, variable or event based charging models, we are able to align cost and revenue as closely as possible.

Delta Squared recognises that as 'self service' increases (whether through IVR (link) or the internet), so voice volumes reduce, making it increasingly difficult for voice centres to maintain volume associated efficiencies. Fixed infrastructure costs and relatively fixed labour costs drive the cost per call and cost per reservation up. In addition, losing headcount can have a negative effect on motivation, on quality of service, increasing pressure on performance and increasing costs.

As part of the 'self service' performance improvement process, Delta Squared has extensive experience of helping clients to transition 'voice centres' from in-house to 'out of house'. Not only can this process release capital back into the business, but the move triggers significant savings on cost per reservation through both an improved process and the opportunity to 'buy' on a cost per call, and/or a cost per reservation. This effectively fixes future costs and improves budgeting whilst taking full advantage of the customer's transition to a 'self service' environment.

The Delta Squared process starts with:

~ Identifying the percentage of internet bookings relative to voice bookings and the rate of transition between the two channels

~ Measuring the overall volume of voice calls and the relative effectiveness of the voice centre in terms of productivity and quality

~ Identifying conversion rates on the internet and within the voice centre

~ Benchmarking cost per call and cost per reservation

This initial process provides the basis for the business case that identifies the potential for performance improvement in terms of reducing costs, increasing sales and improving profit.

Some of the new telecom technologies we consider/install/implement include:

IVR - Interactive Voice Response.

Used to pre screen calls for either the customer's or client's convenience and the challenge is to provide a balance between the two

IVR is deliverable in two formats:

Standard IVR - pre-recorded structure based on number prompts (press 1, press 2 etc)

Natural Language Voice Recognition- more sophisticated and complex form of pre-recorded announcement structure driven by understanding the natural response a person gives ( "please say which hotel you want to stay at" then confirm "you want to stay at the Royal Hotel Brighton, is that correct?").

'Self Service' - voice or text interactions emanating from the website and driven by customer interaction with it. Again, deliverable in different formats:

Call me - a simple branded button that connects the voice centre with the customer - either to their computer (based on pre recognising the computer configuration) or to their telephone number. The 'button' can be pre set within a web page or 'popped' based on where the customer is or their number of page impressions.

Web chat - an interactive chat box using written type within a defined area of the website. Included within this functionality is 'web push'.

Web push - is pushing specific web pages to the customer to help them either order or navigate through the site to areas they want to see. Helps the customer gain confidence in the website and again helps them to 'self serve'

Whether through more traditional technology, 'self service' or web based telecoms, Delta Squared are well placed to advise what route is best for your customer, brand, budget and bottom line!