Case Study: Prestige International

Established in 1986 in Japan, by President and CEO Shinichi Tamagami, Prestige International is an international provider of high quality inbound call centre services for many of the world’s leading luxury brands and financial institutions.

Prestige International also provides travel insurance services such as policyholder assistance hotlines and claims adjudication. Its turnkey enhancement programs, such as Concierge, are designed to attract and reward top performing customers and employees. The company represents more than 80 household-name corporations, from its offices in London.

Challenge – An Outdated, expensive and inflexible telephone system meant potential loss of business and a poor service.

For six years, the company, had, relied on an aging TDM PBX that needed to be constantly updated to meet the growing needs of the business. However according to Head of Sales and Marketing at Prestige, Ron Anscomb, the system was very cumbersome to use, had poor functionality and its ability to integrate into its IP-based data system was limited.

He explains, “Our business is fairly unique amongst call centres in that we handle a low volume, but very high value sales operation. Some of our client's watches for example can sell for up to £175,000. Our callers, therefore are typically affluent individuals that expect a highly efficient and personal inbound telephony service, which also involves a high degree of research to match their specific requirements with a particular product or service. With our old system this caused problems, as we could, during some busy periods, reach capacity very quickly, and although we would always try and call customers back, the lack of call waiting options resulted in a number of frustrated customers”.

He continues, “Furthermore, some of our customer service representatives handle multiple brands, and therefore depending on what calls came in would answer in the name of the brand. Again during busy periods this became unwieldy as our operator had to manage two pieces of technology, the handset and their PC to respond to an enquiry.”

The Solution – A fully integrated ‘pure’ IP solution from Swyx that provided customised 'skins'

The company recognised that it had to bring its telephony system up to date, not only to keep pace with an increased level of business, but also to convince both existing and potential clients that it had the technology platform to deliver on its business promises.

Anscomb explains, “The catalyst for change was our move into new larger offices to accommodate our expanding operation. This provided the opportunity for some fresh thinking and to look at what was out in the marketplace”.

The company looked at a number of potential replacements, including the latest TDM PBX and a selection of IP and IP hybrids, however they were most impressed by the solution proposed by Swyx partner Hullabaloo.

"Swyx was the only solution that was truly IP-based, and therefore could be integrated easily with the rest of our IP-based office network. Another key differentiator was its unique use of customisable skins. Using Swyx’s 'skin' technology we were able to represent each of our brands by a different button on-screen which our agent’s could simply click on and then answer on behalf of that company. Swyx’s skin technology enables us to develop different 'skins', with 'soft' inbound and outbound speed dial keys 'branded' with our customers’ logos. This has made it very easy for our staff to answer calls correctly and efficiently.”

After a pilot installation more than proved the concept would work, the new solution was installed over a weekend at its new office in Chiswick. Anscomb comments on the implementation process. “We were very impressed by the knowledge and dedication demonstrated by Swyx’s partner Hullabaloo and this was also key in the decision making process. The old system was disconnected on the Friday and they then pulled out all the stops to ensure that the system was installed and ready for our agents to use on the following Monday morning”.

Results – 'A State of the Art' telephone system that has improved productivity, efficiency and increased its ability to compete

According to Anscomb the Swyx system has been a great success, it has enabled the company to reduce call waiting times and reduced the volume of dropped calls. By implementing call-back and messaging options during busy periods the dropped call rate reduced from 50% to virtually nil. In addition Prestige can programme the music-on-hold to play the appropriate company recording, so that the experience of telephoning the call centre mimics the same experience the caller would expect if they were talking to the company direct.

Prestige have realised the following benefits since installing the Swyx system.

  • Increased overall call capacity by 20%
  • Reduced dropped call rates to near zero
  • Have an IP telephony platform that can be easily customised for a range of different organisations
  • Have call recording included in their standard package, essential for a telephone ordering system
  • Have happier more efficient agents.

Anscomb summarises, “Since installing Swyx our agents are far more efficient at answering and processing calls. We estimate that this has increased our call capacity by about 20% without the need to increase the number of agents or expand our shift times. The system is excellent, fun to use and as it is licensed based and will expand on a 'pay as we grow' basis to meet the future technical and commercial needs of our business without significant capital investment.”