Established in 2004, First Group Management is a specialist hospitality management company. The company’s contact centre in KwaZulu-Natal serves as a vital cog in the operation, managing outbound sales and collections, and inbound reservations and customer support calls.
“However, prior to 2019, we did not have a centralised contact centre solution. Each division operated independently of each other,” explains Cecilia Bauer, senior manager: core operations at First Group Management.
- Centralisation of the contact centre
- Simplified routing strategies
- Automated and robust dialling methods
- Call quality improvement
- Remote agent routing to on-premises solution
- Agility and responsiveness in light of lockdown regulations
“We used complicated routing strategies to connect inbound callers with the right department while fielding e-mails via independent mail clients. The outbound team was also using manual dialling methods, which was ineffective and time-consuming and was holding us back from revenue-generating opportunities.”
Consequently, the company issued a request for proposals in 2018 and short-listed four potential managed services providers. “While multiple providers recommended Genesys Pure Engage based on the specifications issued in the RFP, Pivotal Data pitched the most comprehensive solution at the best price,” says Bauer.
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The Genesys Engage solution completely transformed the business operation. After implementation, First Group Management empowered its agents to be more productive (in fact, agent productivity increased by 23%) and the company was subsequently able to field between 1 500 and 4 000 inbound calls a day, depending on the season.
Due to the Covid-19 lockdown, First Management Group realised it needed greater flexibility in its contact centre solution to become a more agile and responsive operation, particularly in light of the challenges posed by strict lockdown regulations, says Thea Bormann, director of support and operations.
Following extensive consultations with Pivotal Data, First Group Management decided to migrate to Genesys Cloud and Go-live when the company’s Pure Engage contract ended.
“The cloud migration project kicked off in November 2021 with scoping, and the solution went live in April, which is something we did not think was possible. The migration happened over a weekend, and it was smooth sailing from day one,” says Bauer.
Due to omnichannel integration, First Group Management achieved a 5% reduction in the average handle time. This is a critical success factor, and its goal is to reduce this by 40%, a feat possible thanks to its migration journey with Pivotal Data.
Importantly, the internal First Group Management team now enjoys more control and can self-manage the system to a greater degree via the cloud enhanced dashboards and reporting.
“This functionality gives us the ability to make changes to configurations on the fly – a process that could previously take weeks,” says Bauer. “And all agents can seamlessly and easily access the solution from anywhere with a reliable Internet connection, which has enabled the company to permanently transition to a work-from-home operation.”
Adds Bormann: “Migrating the contact centre solution to the cloud environment has brought agility and simplicity to the operation. The cloud migration also unlocked greater opportunities for autonomy through self-management capabilities, with the ability to instantly access and integrate new functionality with fewer on-site resources required, which has lowered operational costs with less time lost on logging service calls.”
“The resultant business continuity ensured we could remain close to customers and secure bookings during lockdown, which resulted in 100% occupancy across the company’s portfolio when restrictions eased, and pent-up demand drove holiday bookings. The solution was also able to scale effectively to ensure the contact centre could manage the higher call volumes during this period.”
Remote working capabilities again benefited the business during subsequent catastrophic events in the region, such as widespread riots and flooding, as well as persistent load shedding, which made on-site operations impossible.
The ability to integrate all departments and sites onto a single platform delivers better collaboration and has simplified internal communications
“These factors affirmed the need for a solution that could maintain business continuity through uninterrupted system availability and support end-to-end remote working capabilities via a fully hosted cloud-based contact centre,” says Bormann.
The company has now embraced a work-from-home operation for all contact centre staff, which has helped to realise significant cost savings for the business in the form of lower operating expenses such as insurance and office equipment costs.
“The ability to integrate all departments and sites onto a single platform delivers better collaboration and has simplified internal communications. More importantly, it ensures business continuity by acting as a failover as regional outages no longer affect system availability,” explains Bormann.
Ultimately, First Group Management achieved a 10% return on investment in just four months, and together with Pivotal Data, has been named as a finalist at the Genesys Customer Innovation awards. Short-listed as a candidate in the CX Mover – Best Cloud Implementation category, First Group Management’s partnership with Pivotal Data has been hugely successful in its mission to untangle the complexities of its contact centre.
About Pivotal Data
Pivotal Data is a specialist provider of contact centre, CX and enterprise communication solutions. We partner with organisations to architect digitally proficient contact centre operations by bringing together the ideal combination of local and global solutions and infrastructure providers to meet unique technology requirements. Drawing from our extensive global and local partner network, we build, manage and support bespoke, innovative omnichannel solutions to address unique needs and meet evolving consumer engagement trends. Partner with us to grow your business by simplifying your digital transformation, cloud and CX journeys and create a resilient, future-ready contact centre operation.
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