UK’s leading multi-retailer voucher and prepaid gift card business deploys automated technology to enhance overall client experience and reduce costs.
Park Group plc, the UK’s leading multi-retailer voucher and prepaid gift card business, has deployed interactive voice response (IVR) and automated payment technology from Encoded to offer agents for the company’s successful Christmas Savings Club a 24-hour self-service payment facility. Since implementing Encoded, Park Group has reduced the number of calls into the call centre requiring agent assistance, lowering the high costs associated with manually processing debit and credit card transactions.
Park Group’s busy call centre is open between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. The operation focuses primarily on managing the company’s prosperous Christmas Savings Club and the recently launched flexecash® which is a platform for managing the business’s pre-paid gift card option; an alternative to paper vouchers. The number of staff and call volumes fluctuate from 29 contact centre agents handling 1,000 calls per day in the quiet season to 41 full-time equivalents handling approximately 5,000 calls per day in the run up to Christmas.
Handling wildly fluctuating call volumes in a seasonal business and managing the growing number of payments by credit card and debit card drove Park Group to invest in new IVR and automated payment technology that could enable clients to process their payments quickly and efficiently and give contact centre agents more time to devote to more complex customer care issues.
After evaluating three different suppliers, Park Group selected Encoded primarily for its flexibility and ease of use. June Potts, Head of Customer Contact at Park Group, commented, “Along with the simplicity and highly configurable nature of Encoded’s solution, we were impressed by their professional, can-do attitude backed up by excellent support. We were confident they had the drive and commitment to work with us, offering a truly scalable solution that could grow with our business. In particular, we trusted Encoded to support new ventures such as flexecash® which has already been adopted by a number of high street retailers.”
Christmas Savings agents use Encoded to make payments and check account balances via self-service which has led to faster and better service without taking away the appeal of old-fashioned personal attention and customer care. If an agent prefers to speak to someone over the telephone, they still can.
Since deploying Encoded, Park Group has noticed a series of benefits. The introduction of automated payment functionality has driven down the number of calls into the call centre and lowered the high costs associated with manually processing card payments. Furthermore, Park Group has millions of flexecash® cards in circulation yet the sophisticated self-service technology offered by Encoded means only three members of staff are required to administer them. Clients simply activate their card, obtain a balance and set up text services themselves.
June Potts added, “Encoded is a dream to work with. They are efficient, reliable and totally professional with a highly flexible technology to match. Always open to new ideas, they truly listen to what we want and go the extra mile to help us achieve it. That’s what makes them different and sets them apart from the competition.”
Encoded will also support the increased call traffic that Park Group anticipates from the company’s expansion into the Republic of Ireland and the ongoing launch of new services across that region.
Rob Crutchington, Director of Encoded concluded, “Innovative companies like Park Group know that excellent service coupled with clever technology is critical to the success of their business. Our technology is flexible enough to accommodate today’s fast-moving commercial environment and delivers big business benefits in terms of cost and productivity. We look forward to supporting Park Group in its journey to continued prosperity in the UK and beyond.”