UK parks operator Park Resorts has outsourced its call centre to deal with seasonal business more effectively after making 15 staff redundant in December last year.
Park Resorts’ 15 call centre staff were offered relocation packages from the operator’s Hemel Hempstead offices to work for outsourcing company Sitel in Stratford, but none took up the offer.
Sales and marketing director Andrew Edge said the decision has enabled the parks operator to have 30 Sitel staff trained on its product range to answer calls. Previously the company would have employed up to ten extra seasonal staff – 25 in total – to handle booking “spikes”.
He said: “We believe we have handled the volume of calls better. We have got more people trained and some weeks we are getting double the number of calls.”
The decision to outsource was to match call centre and booking volumes more efficiently and increase revenues, rather than a measure specifically aimed at cutting costs, he added. “One of the key things for us was flexibility but this has also allowed us to use systems that we cannot invest in as a standalone operator.”
Park Resorts has tasked Sitel with ensuring the number of abandoned (unanswered) calls are no more than the industry norm of 5% of total calls. He admitted: “Before we aimed at 5% but it sometimes got above that.”
The company has also made its call centre numbers more prominent in brochures, although holidaymakers can still contact its parks direct.
Edge said: “We have 37 different parks, with different standards, whereas if we have one call centre all staff are trained the same way We deliberately wanted to steer [calls] away from the parks but some people still want to phone the parks.”
Sitel has been dealing with Park Resorts’ overflow calls since November last year but took on full-time responsibility for its customer call centre in January.
Business development director Ray McDiarmid, who specialises in the travel market, said: “We have had some staff visiting the parks and had trainers on site and support from Park Resorts’ inhouse personnel. We have tried to employ staff that may have been likely to visit Park Resorts themselves, such as people with young families.”