Case Study

Destinology - Logo Destinology adopts Unified Communications to enhance reputation for excellent customer service


Destinology was founded in 2004 by its CEO, Dominic Speakman, to provide luxury, tailor-made holidays online at the best value prices. Backed by a dedicated and experienced team, it prides itself on its reputation for ensuring that its clients receive the very highest level of personal service throughout the holiday process, from the time they book until the time they return home.

This reputation has been recognised by the industry as the company received a total of four British Travel Awards in 2012 and 2013. The company is headquartered in Bolton with an additional luxury retail store in Wilmslow, and employs 110 staff across both sites.

The challenge - Existing phone system struggling to keep up with growth and more complex demands of the business

At its head office in Bolton the company receives around 1,000 inbound calls from prospective clients a day busy during peak season days. Processing these calls in the most efficient manner possible is critical to the organisations promise of excellent customer service. Network & Infrastructure Manager at Destinology, Chris Carter explains, “The business has grown substantially over the last few years and our existing hardware-based PBX system was struggling to keep up with the demand we were putting on it. We operate a split shift system with over 100 agents.  In order to provide the maximum number of agents at any one time we needed some of our shift operators to work in remote locations. Our incumbent system offered us very little flexibility with no real ability to move staff around and it was very difficult to manage.”

Key challenges included:

  • Wanted a solution that could be flexed to meet its on-going business requirements, without the need to invest in rigid proprietary hardware products
  • Have the ability to be customised to the specific needs of the business e.g. bespoke reporting
  • Reduce operating costs
  • Find a one-stop-shop supplier that offered a fully integrated telephony solution
  • Wanted a telephony solution that could utilise its existing server environment and provide rapid disaster recovery

The solution - A Swyx Unified Communications solution supplied by Elite telecom

After a thorough review of the market and potential suppliers, the company finally selected SwyxWare supplied by Swyx Gold Partner and unified communications specialist Elite Telecom.

Chris Carter explains, “We narrowed down our search to a short list of two vendors, however Swyx won because it offered all the features we needed, plus its excellent call data and an open API (Application Programming Interface). The API has a major advantage because it would allow us to customise the solution to meet our exact business requirements by simply designing additional applications. For example, a key requirement we wanted was to crunch the call data, and more effectively track inbound customer numbers. This would enable us to obtain far more clarity on all our calls, such as ring times, wait times, call costs etc. and provide insight into more efficient call routing that would optimise our time with our clients.”

Chris continues, “We also liked the way in which Swyx handled remote working - this allowed us to implement our shift patterns the way we wanted to, rather than be constrained by the telephone system”.

The Results – A more flexible telephony operation and the opportunity to customise it to meet the organisations specific business needs.

Here are the key areas where the company has benefitted most:

More integrated & personalised service for customers 

The Destinology telephony ‘skin’ is fully integrated with their booking system. When a client’s CLI (calling Line Identification) is available it allows the customer account executives to action their calls more effectively as it provides a ‘pop-up’ window that provides all the inbound caller’s details, such as booking history. Chris adds, “We also use scripting to ensure that wherever possible inbound calls are routed back to the same agent that dealt with the call in the first place. This again is consistent with our policy of delivering a high level of personalised customer service”

Tracking numbers from the website to test the effectiveness of business development campaigns

Using the API the company has been able to track the customer journey more effectively and more affordably than previously, Chris explains, “Using Swyx we have been able to post around 2,000 unique numbers on our website and track the progress of these when a potential client calls in. Each time a call is tracked right through to an agent we know when a particular campaign has been successful.  This helps us to fine-tune our business development activities, and saves us money as our previous approach to this exercise was very expensive”.

Softphones offer better support for remote working and allow more flexible movement for agents

The company can now offer a remote-working option to its agents. Using Swyx they can log directly into the company’s phone system from any location and the ‘rich presence’ feature enables other staff to know if they are available for calls.  Chris comments, “Using the desktop client and headsets our agents can work wherever we want them to, they just plug in and log-in. This was another advantage of the Swyx system as other vendors tried to make us stay with desk-phones, which would not have offered the flexibility we required”. 

Agents can make and receive calls to their mobiles without incurring a charge on their personal phones

Using Swyx’s CTI+ feature Destinology can gain even more flexibility with their agents by enabling them to use their own mobile phones, so they can make and receive calls without a charge going to their personal account. Not only does this make better use of the agent’s time, but also saves the company money on additional mobile handsets.

PCI Compliance 

Using Swyx, Destinology can ensure they are fully PCI compliant, so that when a customer gives their credit card number, this is recorded automatically and for security purposes is not heard by the agent.

Future proofed for growth

Swyx’s software licensing model enables Destinology to upsize the business on a per user basis without having to invest in expensive new hardware. Furthermore, the company can takes advantage of new future developments via regular software updates, without worrying that they will need to replace their existing investment. It will develop with them.

Lower operational telephony costs

The system has only been in use for a few months, but Chris expects that in time the overall operating costs will drop as more features are brought on-line. They are already saving money on handsets and other hardware applications that are now redundant with the use of Swyx.

More assured business continuity with a single point of contact for all IT & telephony

Whilst Destinology can handle the day-to-day telephony issues in-house, the company now has the reassurance that should there be a more serious problem they only need to make one call to make to ensure that the issue is resolved and business continuity is maintained. Elite also offers a Disaster Recovery Server, so in the worst case scenario the operation can be up and working again within minutes.

The Future

In the future Destinology plans to exploit the open API and integration possibilities further to enhance the benefits that SwyWare can bring to the business. 

Final Word 

"I am very happy with the level of support and knowledge delivered by Elite  We try and do as much as we can in-house, but often I like to call Elite and bounce ideas off them, and together this relationship works really well because as our business develops it becomes a win/win process for both of us."