My project is to understand the capacity of the Guest Services Pre-Arrival team and to investigate Web chat systems with the possibility of introducing this within the Contact Center.
Capacity planning is an important part of any business and business planning. A capacity plan will support the objective of best, and cost-effective use of resources and services by matching them to Center Parcs and our guests’ needs. This project will also help me identify and reduce any inefficiencies linked to either underused resources or unmet guest demand. It will enable me to provide satisfactory service levels in a cost-efficient manner. This project and plan will help ensure that all my team are capable of performing all required functions, that the team will all perform as efficiently as possible, and accommodate realistic progress without being too wasteful.
Guest Services Pre-Arrival along with email and social media responses have never been monitored in the past, and guest contact via these channels are growing at rapid speed. Digital correspondence is on the increase. Guests’ have many quick questions and do not have the time to make a phone call, wait in a queue, and then possibly be put on hold whilst the agent looks for an answer. Call lengths within the Contact Center have substantially increased and this is at an extra cost to the business. At present the Pre- Arrivals team are unable to respond to all guest contact within the set service level agreement of three days, this is meaning I am having to offer overtime and use other resources within the business, again, at an extra cost. If we can service guests’ quicker via email and Social Media, then this should save money in the longer term.
I also plan to investigate Web chat within this project. An online chat system will provide our guests’ with immediate access to help. Wait times are often much less than a Contact Centre, and guests’ can multi-task while waiting. Guests’ want to be able to reach us whenever they encounter a problem or have a question. Web chat would help in reducing response times, backlogged calls and emails and will further increase guest satisfaction.
Research shows that Web chat software has consistently demonstrated that it can save on both
employee task time and phone expenses. Some of the most notable cost savings are:
1. Live chat reduces overall contact centre costs by lowering average interaction costs.
2. Increases efficiency by allowing live chat representatives to handle multiple chats simultaneously, thus reducing the need to hire more representatives.
With agents spending less time on the phone or responding to emails, they can multi-task during chat conversations and cut the waiting queue to a fraction of its former size. Not only is this a process improvement but it increases guest service and strengthens the chances of overall sales.
Web chat will come at a cost to the business, however, we currently use Oracle for emails and this has a web chat facility attached to it. I need to investigate and understand if this is included in the cost of our package and if not, what the costs would be and how it measure’s against the cost per phone call to an agent.
This is the look of the Oracle web chat system and this will be the first platform I will investigate.
Again, this project will help me understand how the Pre-Arrival team can respond quicker, manage their workload and help reduce the number of timely calls to the Contact Center. Most importantly, I will gain the understanding of where I need to concentrate my team resources, for example, Social Media, Emails, Tree House bookings.
This project will touch a number of stakeholders. The wider business will benefit due to the Pre-Arrival team working in a more efficient manner, this will enable the team to provide support on all future projects where guest contact is necessary prior to a break. Guests’ will experience a quicker service and the quality of responses will be maintained.
The main resource required for me to complete this project is my time. I will need the help of the Contact Center analyst to obtain daily reports on the team’s incoming and outgoing workload. I will need to work closely with I.T. and the Sales ; Marketing team to understand the implications of Web chat. I will also rely on I.T. to advise on the practicality of introducing a Web chat platform and which one is better suited to the systems we currently use.
I will need to visit other Contact Centres to gain a wider understanding of the benefit capacity management and Web chat has had in their business. This will come at a cost to the business due to travel, hotel accommodation and expenses.
Once I have a clear understanding of the Guest Services Pre-Arrival teams capabilities and capacity, the objective is to improve our Service Level Agreement, introduce clear Key Performance Indicators and provide our guests’ with a more timely service, again providing better guest care and satisfaction.
There is an obvious link between employee performance and company success. Once the project is completed, I will be able to forecast my requirements so I know how many employees and with what skills I will need in the future I can plan my work schedule so I have exactly the right number of staff to meet the business needs I will be capable of managing my teams time so I can determine work time accounts. Importantly, I will be able to monitor and analyse my results, this will further enable me to see if the Pre- Arrivals team and the individuals are meeting the set Key Performance Indicators, if not further coaching and development can be given. This project will enable me to understand if my team is under or over-resourced.
Performing a capacity management project will provide me with the predictive and ongoing capacity indicators needed to align capacity to demand. This project is about finding the correct balance between my team’s resources and their capabilities, along with the guest and business demand.