FlightSite, a subsidiary of Club Travel, has been in operation since 2008 and is South Africa’s first online travel agency. FlightSite has recently launched its FlightSite Agent platform, which allows anyone to become a travel agent by gaining access to a platform that facilitates the ticketing of airline tickets at NET fares. The website and call centre sells air travel, including low cost carriers, holidays, hotels and car hire to South Africans traveling locally and abroad. In order to manage the numerous brands and requirements of their call centre, they engaged with 2012 Frost & Sullivan award-winner 1Stream, a hosted call centre technology provider.
Hosted call centers operate as a network-based service, whereby a service provider operates the underlying tech platform and then leases its services and features to end-users on a usage-based or monthly fee. This lends technical expertise to the call centre, without having to source expensive in-house staff, and reduces the capex investment significantly.
According to Flightsite MD, Rian Bornman, the company was referred to 1Stream and drawn to their consultative service model. “We decided to make use of them because of their personal hands-on approach to service,” he explains.
Flightsite has a complex offering, running several brands’ travel sites from one contact centre. This includes Flightsite.com (a leading online travel website), Pick ‘n Pay Travel (a complete Pick ‘n Pay branded experience that ties in with Pick ‘n Pay’s Smart Shopper programme), Travel Latitude (in partnership with Investec Private Bank), MySchool Travel and their new platform – Flightsite Agent, that allows anyone interested in travel to start a travel business from home.
1Stream was able to assist Flightsite with readying their technology for cloud delivery, as well as training and adjusting the system to match their business processes and goals.
“Not only is it a requirement from our investment partner that all our calls are recorded, but the system generates a plethora of business intelligence for us to make informed operational decisions,” says Bornman.
1Stream director Bruce von Maltitz says that it is important to chose the right provider when switching to a hosted call centre platform. “The problems that come with using complex technology do not go away just because the technology platform is outsourced,” he explains. “”Customers need to work with someone who is able to set up their call routing and queues and deliver the best analytics for their specific business type and goals, so that the system can function optimally in terms of quality and productivity.”
In addition to providing a call center with business analytics, Von Maltitz says that the provider must be able to adjust the platform according to the information revealed in business intelligence reports if the need arises. “Contact Centres such as Flightsite are highly dynamic and the technology that supports it should be able to respond quickly and seamlessly to changes.”
By partnering with a consultative service provider, Flightsite is able to gather information and respond quickly to their customers’ changing needs and ensure optimal productivity in their call centre.