You are here

Singapore Travel Icon Jets Ahead of the Competition with Unified Communications and Contact Centre Deployment

To improve operational efficiencies, reduce complexity and increase responsiveness, Chan Brothers Travel (CBT) deploys ShoreTel’s IP-based Unified Communications and Enterprise Contact Centre solutions.

Chan Brothers Travel (CBT) is one of Singapore’s leading travel companies, offering a wide choice of destinations from the mainstream to the exotic. CBT began operations in 1965, with three staff operating from a small rented shop in Singapore selling only air and train tickets. The company now employs over 500 staff in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and China, has a property investment portfolio worth over $100 million, and operates the travel brands Chan Brothers Travel, Asia Global Vacation, Euroworld and Chan’s World Holidays.

For nearly 50 years, CBT has taken pride in delighting its customers with tour experiences that get them to return time and again. CBT was also the first travel agency in Singapore to set up a sophisticated online travel infrastructure and a call centre as part of its continuous efforts to offer seamless travel experiences from the first touch point to utilisation of service.

In 2013, CBT won Best Travel Agency in the AsiaOne People’s Choice Award for the third consecutive year and it was the only travel agent in Singapore to be awarded Platinum in Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands 2013 for the fifth time running, for demonstrating excellence in six qualities: trustworthiness, image credibility, quality, value, understanding of customer needs and innovation.

CBT made the decision in 2012 to investigate a new unified communications and contact centre solution, to eliminate inefficiencies and mitigate complexities in communications. The business goals from the implementation were for CBT to increase staff productivity and responsiveness, thereby accelerating operational processes.

The travel agency evaluated the different solutions available in the market based on four key requirements. The system had to:

  • Improve employee productivity
  • Enhance customer service
  • Reduce costs and productivity losses
  • Integrate with business information systems and CBT’s future CRM system.

In addition, the provider CBT selected had to best meet the company’s functional requirements, timeline and budget.

“ShoreTel offered a value-for-money, all-in-one business communications solution that was robust yet user-friendly and the system was scalable, allowing integration with our business information systems. System management within a single interface allowed easy management by our IT team,” said Ramona Lee, Director, Information Technology, Chan Brothers Travel.

Training Accelerates User Acceptance

After selecting ShoreTel as the ideal solution, Chan Brothers Travel deployed ShoreTel Unified Communications and Enterprise Contact Centre (ECC) at the company’s head office in Singapore. The UC solution currently extends to 400 endpoints, with 140 staff also using ShoreTel Call Manager, a single unified desktop client which provides both unified communications and call centre functionality.

ShoreTel Director provides CBT with a single intuitive web-based management interface to manage its unified communications, telephony network and contact centre operations centrally, freeing up IT resources and empowering CBT staff to manage most administrative functions in-house.

Once the solution was implemented, professional training was provided by ShoreTel to staff and systems administrators, quickly overcoming the lack of familiarisation and accelerating user acceptance of what was a completely new communications system for staff.

Higher Sales Conversions

CBT’s ShoreTel solution has supported the company’s goals to cater to various segments of the market, draw in new travellers and retain loyal customers. ShoreTel has also supported CBT’s move into the budget and niche markets, with its introduction of a range of new travel brands into the market; and CBT’s first company-owned franchise shop and bespoke travel agency, Chan’s World Holidays.

The ShoreTel solution has addressed CBT’s initial business goals for a communications solution to improve employee productivity and responsiveness, and also reduce CBT’s infrastructure costs and associated IT administration overheads.

However, one of the biggest impacts of the ShoreTel deployment has been on CBT’s goal to improve customer service and better customer and lead tracking. One of CBT’s competitive differentiators is its agents’ ‘passionate selling’ which CBT describes as its people’s ability to “share and pass on their personal experience to customers”.

“With the ShoreTel solution, we are better able to transform cost savings from operating efficiency into added value for the end consumer,” said Lee.

CBT’s new ShoreTel system has reduced the communications barriers between the agency and its customers, and also given CBT’s agents a greater capability to deliver on promises and exceed customer expectations.

“ShoreTel allows our customer call centre to operate 24/7 despite our 10am-7pm operational hours through tracking of potential leads that arrive after office hours or lost leads during high call volume. These translate into higher sales conversion as we are better able to match leads to our database and obtain customer history prior to calling a customer back,” said Lee.

Future Plans

“In a market where mass customisation is quickly giving way to marketing to the individual and each target market is a group size of one, we need to elevate service leadership and agility, especially with our more discerning and higher value customers,” said Lee.

To address this need, CBT plans to integrate its ShoreTel UC and ECC solution with its newly-implemented CRM system, providing a greater level of automation and CBT agents’ with access to richer information every time a customer calls the agency.

“The ShoreTel solution will have a long-term impact on overall business performance with far-reaching benefits,” concluded Lee.

About ShoreTel

ShoreTel is a provider of business communication solutions whose brilliantly simple unified communications platforms, applications and mobile UC solutions promise a new rhythm of workforce engagement and collaboration. With costly complexity eliminated by design from its award winning, all-in-one IP phone system, UC and contact center solution, and its industry leading hosted business phone system, workers enjoy a freedom and self-reliance that other providers can’t match. Users have full control to engage and collaborate, no matter the time, place or device, for the lowest cost and demand on IT resources in the industry. ShoreTel is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, and has regional offices and partners worldwide. For more information, visit shoretel.com or shoretelsky.com

CHALLENGE:

  • With the travel industry across Asia becoming increasingly competitive and, to stay ahead of the pack, Chan Brothers Travel needed a new communications solution that would keep pace with the innovative travel agency’s business enhancements and new product offerings.

SOLUTION:

  • Chan Brothers Travel deployed ShoreTel Unified Communications and Enterprise Contact Centre (ECC) at the company’s main office in Singapore. The UC solution currently extends to 400 endpoints, with 140 staff also using ShoreTel Call Manager, a single unified desktop client.
  • A mix of ShoreTel IP115 and IP230 handsets deployed
  • ShoreTel Unified Communications release 12 with ShoreTel Communicator Professional Access licences for standard users and Call Manager licences for call centre users
  • ShoreTel Voice Switch 90 and SG220E1 Voice Switch

BENEFITS:

  • Improved employee productivity and responsiveness
  • Enhanced customer service and better customer and lead tracking
  • Cost reduction on infrastructure and IT administration


“ShoreTel allows our customer call centre to operate 24/7 despite our 10am-7pm operational hours through tracking of potential leads that arrive after office hours or lost leads during high call volume. These translate into higher sales conversion.”

Ramona Lee Director, Information Technology Chan Brothers Travel


“With the ShoreTel solution, we are better able to transform cost savings from operating efficiency into added value for the end consumer.”

Ramona Lee Director, Information Technology Chan Brothers Travel