P&O Ferries has introduced a new £2.3m call centre and customer relationship management (CRM) system to speed up reservations and improve call handling.
Using Avaya's IP-based Definity platform, the ferry company is now able to channel customer calls between its Dover, Calais and Europoort contact centres to deal with peaks in demand.
By migrating from regional standalone systems, P&O said that it is making huge savings in maintenance costs and centralised systems management.
The system, developed jointly by P&O's IT team and BT Convergent Solutions, links legacy and Oracle 11i CRM systems via an Avaya IP network.
This allows more than 450 contact centre agents to view requests and respond depending on customer language needs.
"We can move calls and customers and identify language requirements without the customer knowing that they've been diverted elsewhere," said Nigel Powis, IT director at P&O Ferries.
The company is also making cost savings by routing voice calls for 600 phone extensions over the IP network.
"Networking technology has advanced to such an extent that we could review our facilities dating back years and move towards a centralised management approach," explained Powis.
Call centre agents access information using AgentView, an IP linked multimedia customer interface developed by call centre distributor Dacon.
Agents can access voice and data from the same workstation and, using information from the CRM system, offer additional promotions based on individual customer requirements.
P&O customers will also benefit from the technology's skills-based routing applications, meaning that callers are transferred to an agent experienced in dealing with their specific query or language.
Powis claimed that the new system is also offering greater disaster recovery protection. If one site shuts down the others can pick up the excess requests and access the firm's two data centres in Dover.
"By doing this we are reducing maintenance needs significantly and it is helping us react to business changes," he said.
P&O Ferries has also introduced a new real-time port handling system to speed up check-in times on its new Caen route.
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