The Virgin Holidays busy Customer Service Department operates seven days a week and handles a wide variety of enquiries ranging from adding excursions to a booking, making a payment to requesting an invoice. Traditionally Service Centre agents dealt with payments themselves recording customer details in a central system. As the Virgin Holidays business grew, the organisation decided to invest in new technology that could manage customer payments more efficiently and reduce the high cost associated with handling large volumes of credit and debit card payments manually in the contact centre.
Security, scalability and ease of use were top priorities for Virgin Holidays when looking for a new solution and, after conducting a thorough evaluation of the marketplace, Virgin Holidays selected an IVR automated payment solution from Encoded.
Jessica Baker, Operations Analyst at Virgin Holidays, commented, “The automated payment solution from Encoded offers high level of sophistication necessary to authenticate the caller, inform them of their outstanding balance and accept full or part payment without the need for agent intervention. What is more, the people at Encoded blended well with our own team and understood our culture perfectly. Fundamentally, they appreciated our requirement for a user-friendly solution that reflected Virgin’s own unique sense of style.”
Since deploying IVR automated payments, Virgin Holidays has noticed a series of benefits. The introduction of automated payment functionality has driven down the number of calls coming into the Service Centre requiring agent assistance therefore reducing costs. It also means that agents can devote more time to non-payment related issues, saving time and improving customer service.
Today, customers have 24-hour access to account balance information that is accurate and complete at all times. They can also take advantage of the new self-service payment option. An automated menu guides them through a step-by-step process to settle their outstanding balance and even spread payments across multiple cards during a single call.
One of the biggest benefits is the strategic value Encoded has brought in terms of workload planning. Jessica Baker added, “Encoded has given us improved visibility with an instant snapshot of all payment data from when payments are being made to statistics that help us identify payment trends. At a glance, we know when to scale our team up or down which eliminates waiting times, keeps customers happy and maximises our resources.”
Virgin Holidays has been particularly impressed by the high level of support provided by Encoded. Most recently, the company has reached a significant milestone, becoming one of the few IVR providers in the country to achieve Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance.
Robert Crutchington, Sales Director at Encoded concluded, “In an age where credit card fraud and identify theft pose a constant threat to our sense of security, organisations like Virgin Holidays need technology they can trust to drive efficiencies, reduce costs and protect their clients’ personal and financial details. With extensive experience of payment solutions and endorsement by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, Encoded’s tried and tested technology guarantees the highest levels of security, critical to operating in today’s fast-moving travel industry.”
About Virgin Holidays:
Virgin Holidays is the UK’s market leading long haul holiday company. It sells holidays to the USA, Caribbean, Africa, the Middle and Far East, the Indian Ocean and Australasia.
Formed in 1985, it is built on the founding Virgin principles of excellent customer service, high quality and value for money. The brand is particularly known for its history of innovation and the ‘magic touches’ it has brought to market, from dedicated ‘leisure lounges’ to the first electronic brochures. Virgin Holidays has become synonymous with honesty and reliability, delivered with a sense of fun and an innovative twist.
For more information, please visit: www.virginholidays.co.uk
Encoded is a leading provider of interactive voice response solutions and automated payment solutions. All the company’s services are designed to fulfil three key objectives:
• Reduce costs by automating business processes
• Increase sales by offering new fulfilment channels
• Improve customer service by maximising resource efficiency
Encoded was established in 2001 to offer affordable, pay-as-you-go solutions to the growing telecommunications requirements of small and large businesses. Today, the company’s software regularly supports 30 million customers and 10 million calls globally and automates £60 million of secure payments without operator intervention.
For more information please visit www.encoded.co.uk
Mary Phillips/Andreina West
PR Artistry Limited
T: 01491 639500