Case Study: Doubletake Studios

Doubletake reduce outbound call costs by almost 50% and save £100,000 per year with new Swyx unified comms solution.


Doubletake Studios ( with headquarters in Clerkenwell, London offers its typical young female clientele a truly unique photoshoot experience. Its personal creative team provides each client a personal makeover and a choice of over 20 different lavishly designed ‘sets’ for their photo shoot. The goal is to make everyone feel like a Hollywood star for a day. The results are professional portraits that will take their breath away and amaze friends and family. Founded in 1996 the company employs over 500 people with three studios located in London, one in Southampton and another in Manchester. The company is planning to open a new facility in Birmingham in 2009.

The Challenge – An expensive, high volume calling operation, which was unreliable and difficult to manage.

Over 7,000 ‘models’ per month are catered for by Doubletake’s existing four studios and this presented a number of serious challenges for the business, not least of which was the prospecting, calling and booking of sufficient clients to maintain and grow the business to the new target of 9,000 per month.

Managing Director at Doubletake, Julian Jenkins explains the problem, “All of our business is generated by referrals from existing clients, who are encouraged to provide details of other friends and family members who may also be interested in sharing the experience. A large part of our operation is therefore outbound calling and we employ around 100 agents to follow up on the contacts provided by our clients. As most of the calls we make are to mobiles our calling operation is a significant part of our cost overheads. Furthermore we were having a number of problems with the reliability of our existing ISDN lines which is the last thing we needed when our entire sales initiative is based on our communications system”.

According to Jenkins, it was not just cost and reliability that was an issue, “our incumbent telephony system did not provide us with the features we needed to efficiently run our business. For example, we did not have the ability to record calls. This is essential for monitoring and training of staff, and in the settlement of any potential misunderstandings which occasionally arise in the call centre environment. We also had no intelligent method of organising our voicemails, so staff would regularly have to trawl through literally hundreds of messages to filter out the important ones.”
The time had come for Doubletake to review its entire communications system.

The Solution – Software based, unified communications from Swyx.

After reviewing a number of potential replacements, the company was finally introduced to software based UC vendor Swyx by their voice & data networking supplier, GP Network Solutions (GPNS).

Jenkins comments on the selection decision: “The Swyx solution had a number of key advantages over other systems we considered, foremost of which was its ability to run on our existing data network and importantly it ability to connect directly to a GSM gateway and SIP lines. This would dramatically reduce are outbound calling costs to both mobiles and landlines”.

Jenkins continues: “The Swyx solution also offered key features such as call recording, voicemail management using email and full integration with contact management systems such as Microsoft Outlook included as standard, making it a very cost-effective package”.

The Result – An integrated ‘virtual’ communications platform that delivers almost a 50% reduction in outbound call costs.

Since installing the new Swyx solution from GPNS, Doubletake has enjoyed a dramatic reduction in its operating costs and vastly improved it business efficiency. Jenkins explains: “We estimate that by installing the Swyx solution we have reduced our telephony costs by around 50%, saving around £100,000 per year. Therefore our return on investment will be less than 6 months.”

As part of their training procedure Doubletake records around 15,000 calls per day. GPNS has developed Swyx’s call recording functionality so that the company can now archive, search and playback any recording at a click of a mouse.

He continues: “The call recording feature has also been a boon and has helped improve our conversion rates as we can better train and monitor our agents. Plus the voice mail feature has cut out a lot of needless call-related administration.”

Jenkins has also been very impressed with the level of service he has received from GPNS, “The support we have received from GPNS has been excellent - they thoroughly understand our business model and have customised the solution to work hard for us”.

The Future – A unified communications platform to support worldwide expansion.

Double Take has ambitious plans to expand further, both in the UK and overseas. According to Jenkins the company is looking to open new studios in India and Hong Kong and believes the Swyx solution will play an important part in the company’s future communications strategy. “We are already using the conferencing facility between our UK studios, and we will extend this further if we go international. This facility is very easy to set up and use and of course all the calls between offices are free.”

In Summary - The benefits that Doubletake has gained from the Swyx installation.

  • Integration with GSM gateway and SIP has reduced call costs by over 50%.
  • 6 month return on investment.
  • Call recording has improved agent efficiency and ‘prospect to sale’ conversion rates.
  • Integration with contact management system and voicemail has dramatically reduced office administration.
  • A ‘virtual’ communications platform that can be easily expanded into new national and international locations.
  • Free conferencing facility between different sites.

Swyx Partner: Elite Telecom