Travel agent takes off with VoIP

Video streaming cuts Skywest's staff costs.

Online flight travel agency Skywest has ditched its old land line telephone system for a unified communications and reporting suite.

The company provides flights to 17 locations around Western Australia, Victoria, the Northern Territory and Bali and has 380 staff.

Skywest IT manager Neelesh Krishan said the previous system was slowing down customer service speeds in its call centres.

"Our old phone system offered only very basic call handling and simple reporting. It was like a pair of concrete boots, holding us back when we were trying to service our customers," Krishan said.

"Our old system was very rigid and it needed an engineer to make adjustments to workflows."

The company required a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) platform with embedded Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) and call routing.

An off-the-shelf solution was chosen after evaluating five vendor products.

Inbound calls now enter a touch-tone Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and are directed to agents through skills-based routing. A fleet of IP phones were deployed through the centre and its Perth head office, while a series of large wall-mounted screens are fed with call handling and telephone queue information to display the performance of contact centre agents.

Krishan said the company has cut staffing costs by using the queues to bring in agents as required.

Skywest bought its IP communications platform, management system and handsets from Mitel.

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