Center Parcs offers guests short-break holidays in the UK and Ireland at forest villages. Amenities include high-quality accommodations and activities from swimming and paddling to ziplining. The company welcomes about 2.2 million guests each year.
In March 2020, Center Parcs’ villages and head offices closed in response to the pandemic. Guests attempting to contact the company to request a refund or a date change for over 150,000 bookings quickly overwhelmed the company’s support staff. Center Parcs was not equipped for remote work so its staff couldn’t take inbound calls. The company had to rely on e-mail and social media to connect with guests, and those channels were quickly saturated.
Center Parcs realized it needed a more centralized approach to quickly address guests’ needs (including a way to take payments and issue refunds), a way for agents to work from home, and the tools to maintain its reputation for excellent customer service.
The Oracle team has been absolutely fantastic in facilitating where we are today. Doing all this allowed us to start thinking about what we can do in the future. Now that we have this tool and a foundation for moving forward, the sky is the limit.
Senior IT Project Manager, Center Parcs UK
After using Oracle technology for just five months, the company transformed its approach to supporting guests, enabling employees to perform all their duties from home, including taking inbound and outbound calls. Oracle Digital Assistant helped assist guests while maintaining the company’s unique brand and personality. Center Parcs trained its support team to work across all available channels and introduced a secure telephone and email remote payment and refund system.
The company can now manage a larger volume of inbound guest queries and requests and provide immediate responses and automated support. The automated support enables faster resolution of simple and repetitive queries, which has cut down call wait time drastically. Previously, during times of peak call volume, guests faced a long wait to connect with someone over the phone. With the help of Oracle Digital Assistant, wait time dropped to 3 to 5 minutes. In addition, Center Parcs’ agents can handle three chats at the same time, which has further reduced wait times. The company expects 30% of calls will be handled by automated channels over the coming 12 months.
Center Parcs also enhanced its knowledge base to ensure the digital assistant provides accurate information to guests. The company also now has access to analytics to provide new insights into guest pain points, which will help it continue to make enhancements and maintain a high level of customer satisfaction.
The solution further proved itself when the UK government announced next steps for the country’s reopening in February 2021. Center Parcs anticipated guests would need to make changes to existing reservations or require additional information. In response, it launched conversation flow capabilities available in Oracle Digital Assistant, which enabled its digital assistant to handle 65% of the traffic that came through the company’s web chat channel over the two days following the announcement.
BoxFusion provided Center Parcs with implementation support.
This has been so successful for us. If we did not have the digital assistant or the conversational flow capabilities Oracle provided, our brand reputation could have been damaged because there is no way we could have handled the call volume.
Head of Guest Services and Contact Centre, Center Parcs UK