Hotel Online  Special Report


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Interstate Hotels, Candlewood Suites, Regal Hotels,
Canadian North Airlines Shift Call Center
Responsibility to VIP:
 Interstate To Pass Along 8% to 10% Savings to
Properties; Regal Hotels' Bookings up 26%
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158% Growth, New Clients Spur Call Center
Expansion at VIP International
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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. 
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On May 1, 2003 VIP International, which serves clients in the hotel, airline and rental car industries, moved into a new reservation sales center more than 300 percent larger than its previous facility, and added phone equipment and 60 new workstations to serve clients.  “Our reservation sales center has been so successful because our call quality is as good or better than what many clients can provide for themselves,” said Eddie Drganc, vice president of client services. 

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
VIP International (www.vipintcorp.com) is a channel marketing organization that drives revenue for hoteliers, car rental owners and regional airlines through a multi-channel reservation sales center, the adoption of leading-edge technology, and partnerships with clients to provide ongoing education.

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.

 

Contact:

Rita Emmer
Vice President, Sales
VIP International Corp.
(303) 674-1176
 [email protected]
http://www.vipintcorp.com

 
Also See Zero Transaction Fees: Independent Hotels, Chains Profit from Landmark Agreement; Manage Discounted Rooms Through Central Res Systems at No Cost / May 2003
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


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