Red funnel ferries multimedia customer experience

    The Isle of Wight Ferry Operator with Big Aspirations


    Red Funnel ferries in Southampton, UK has been in existence since 1861. Back in those days, a trip from the UK mainland to the Isle of Wight was considered quite exotic, with the whole age of travel still in its infancy. These early steam packet services ran daily excursions to the Island, over to France and even hooked up with the great passenger liners providing transfers from the Island to the mainland. Fast forward to the twenty first century and Red Funnel has focused in on crossings between Southampton and Cowes for foot passengers, cyclists, cars and goods vehicles, running services around the clock.

    During school holidays and summer months, Red Funnel can get very busy. Continued growth was starting to cause challenges in dealing with numerous customer interactions. They already operated a call center to deal with customer queries, but found that today’s customer wants more than just the ability to make a phone call and queue to get through to an agent.

    Mitel and its partner Charterhouse Voice and Data were invited into Red Funnel to learn about their business, where they were going and what was holding them back. It quickly became apparent that their aging Cisco call manager was a bottleneck to their aspirations. Addressing the needs of modern consumers would require a complete re-think.

    Over a period of months, Mitel and Charterhouse carried out a full discovery process with Red Funnel; analyzing peaks and troughs, reviewing customer frustrations and developing strategies on how to modernize the operation.

    Ultimately, our partner and we recommended a full multimedia contact center, which would allow customers to communicate by phone, email, social media and SMS/text. The outcome was dramatic.

    A far smaller group of contact center agents were able to successfully handle a larger number of daily customer interactions. Customers were also happy as they could communicate in the manner they wanted, at times that suited them. The results were telling.

    Customer compliments increased by 116 percent while complaints reduced by 16 percent

    Life also improved for agents who were now working in a modern contact center, with fewer peaks and troughs in activity. If the phones are quiet, agents can respond to emails or text messages, or monitor social media accounts to proactively engage with customers. Rather than wait for customers to phone in during the rare times when bad weather can cause delays, agents now proactively email, tweet, text or post to their Facebook page.

    Red Funnel is delighted with the outcome, and the next phase of the company’s journey is to roll out a web chat capability. It will give customers another way to reach Red Funnel and further improve agent productivity.

    Don’t take our word for it—watch this short video to get the whole story >

    Interested to find out how we can help you put together a better customer experience with contact center technology, multimedia capabilities and more? Click here to explore what we’ve got to offer.


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