Canadian North Airlines Shift Call Center
Responsibility to VIP:
Interstate To Pass Along 8% to 10% Savings to
Properties; Regal Hotels' Bookings up 26%
|Calgary, Alberta, Canada – May 27, 2003 – The accelerating
trend of call center outsourcing, 158 percent company growth, and new service
agreements with hotel and airline clients fueled a major expansion this
month of VIP International Corporation’s voice reservation center in Calgary.
VIP International, a channel marketing provider committed to driving more
revenue for hotels, announced it increased the size of its voice center
to over 100 seats.
“Hotel companies are adopting new reservation strategies to boost revenue and cut costs; outsourcing call center responsibility is at the top of the list,” said Kelly Blake, president of VIP International Corporation. “VIP delivers higher reservation conversion rates at an 8 per cent to 10 per cent savings per booking for its clients. Hotel companies focusing on profitability find these numbers impossible to ignore. Increased demand for VIP’s voice services is behind our 158 per cent growth over last year, and the recent expansion into a new tower at our corporate offices.”
Voice reservation outsourcing is the result primarily of declining call center volumes, as more reservation traffic moves to the Internet. Blake continued, “Reservation sales is our core competency; hotel groups are focusing on their core competencies, hospitality and service. When hotel companies analyze their call center profit and loss, they find a good business case for outsourcing. Without question we provide the most cost effective voice option in the industry because of our call quality.”
When Hong Kong-based Regal Hotels outsourced all
of its international voice reservation responsibility to VIP a year ago,
it experienced a 26 percent increase in year-over-year bookings.
Likewise, the Four Star International Hotel in Calgary saw a 42 percent
annualized increase in voice reservations result from their conversion
to VIP’s reservation sales center.
Focus on Call Quality
Call center staff are hired through a careful systematic process that evaluates applicants for a predetermined skill set. “We provide a thoroughly professional reservation organization, not a boiler room; it starts by hiring the right people. Our first interview with an applicant is over the telephone; we want to hear what they sound like on a call before anything else,” explained Drganc. “We look for people with sales ability that sound enthusiastic; if they are not enthusiastic how will they ever close a call? We also developed a stringent call quality program based on a 28-point call assessment checklist to ensure that staff maintains our standards. Five calls per employee are silently monitored internally each week, and assessments are followed up with regular coaching sessions.”
VIP also ties bonus compensation to call quality performance. “As hospitality shifts toward outsourcing voice reservations, more and more travel companies call us for services,” Drganc observed. VIP has grown its reservation sales center volume over 100 percent each year since 2001, and recently installed a Nortel ACD system to automate call handling for greater efficiency. As the company grows it is attracting larger clients, such as Canadian North Airlines and Interstate Hotels and Resorts (NYSE: IHR); the latter expects to pass along 8 to10 percent savings to its hotels by outsourcing call center responsibility for the majority of its independent properties.
“We value our clients, our suppliers, and our employees equally,” said VIP International’s Blake. “We are organized around that philosophy; it is part of our mission statement. We have limitless potential, and with our new 100-seat voice reservation center we can serve any sized organization, national or international. When we added our first airline, the transition and service was – in their words – ‘spectacular’. We have an unbelievable team.”
About VIP International Corporation
Founded in 1979, the now privately held Calgary, Alberta-based firm pursues a mission of being "the number one producer of bookings per client." This is accomplished through mastering the electronic channel marketing environment, developing and implementing strategies for each client's unique position, and educating customers about how to optimize participation in the changing electronic marketplace. The company is a central distribution point to every viable Internet web site, and to all of the major global distribution systems including Sabre, Galileo, Pegasus, WorldRes, Amadeus, and Worldspan. VIP International has business development offices in Denver, Colorado; Kansas City, Kansas; Toronto, Ontario; London, United Kingdom; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Hong Kong.
Vice President, Sales
VIP International Corp.
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|Interstate Hotels & Resorts Signs Five-Year Agreement with VIP International to Outsource Call Center; Expects to Pass Along 8 Percent to 10 Percent Savings, Increased Revenue to Hotels / April 2003|
|Hong Kong’s Largest Hotel Operator Sees Reservation Numbers Jump 26 Percent In First 10 Months of 2002, Increases Global Presence with New Reservation Sales Provider / February 2003|
|Canadian North Chooses Calgary-based VIP International to Provide Voice Reservation and Support services / January 2003|
|Midwestern Chain Targets Value-Conscious Senior Market; Picks New Channel Marketing Provider to Power Goal of 100% Increase in Bookings / January 2003|
|Midwestern Management Firm Gains 69% Increase in GDS Reservations YTD at 12 ‘Enhanced Limited-Service’ Properties / Dec 2002|
|Texas-Based Hotel Chain Captures 104% More GDS Reservations YTD, Speeds Ahead of Economy / Dec 2002|
|Four Star Calgary Hotel Reports 42% Increase in Bookings During Initial Period With New Channel Marketing Provider / Nov 2002|