VoIP and Business Communications: A Case Study in the Travel Industry

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Communications within the travel industry have long been fraught with challenge. Businesses must often communicate with employees over international distances, and maintain telecommunications in diverse settings. For many travel professionals, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology has begun to provide the solution.

Cruise Adventure Travel Inc: A VoIP Success Story

Cruise Adventure Travel Inc. has travel agents posted all over the globe, offering cruise adventure trips to a wide range of diverse destinations, from Antarctica to the Amazon River. When president and founder Chris Lounder first started the business, his reach was much more limited. Working from a small office in Florida with just a handful of employees, he had relatively low-scale telecommunications needs. After years of steady business growth, however, he began to struggle with the limitations of his old-fashioned phone service. As Lounder searched for the key to global connectivity, he faced three primary challenges:

  • Productivity and communication: As Lounder’s company grew, his travel agents stretched over a wider geographic area.Lounder wanted to communicate with multiple agents simultaneously, but found himself struggling to maintain steady connections. Often, he would often lose touch with one or more employees during conferences. These challenges impeded the productivity of his business such that he decided to give VoIP service a chance.

  • Call quality and connectivity: Lounder’s initial experience with VoIP was poor. The first VoIP system he used was successful on a small, local scale, but quality and connectivity were compromised when he tried to expand his call network.

  • System management: The scale of Lounder’s business growth made communications management as important to him as connectivity. He didn’t want his calls to be routed via a third-party automated service, and he wanted to be able to review phone calls made and received by his agents to ensure customer service quality.

VoIP Solutions: Hosted PBX

Lounder found the solution to his telecommunications challenges in Hosted PBX, a virtual phone network that conducts calls using both VoIP signals and traditional phone lines. Hosted PBX offered Lounder the following free calling features:

  • Failover routing: Failover routing is a Hosted PBX feature that improved the quality and reliability of Lounder’s long distance calls. His third-party call center used more than one telecom provider, allowing calls to automatically re-route via the first available line in the case of failed connectivity.

  • Remote call center management: Thanks to remote call center management, Lounder was able to eliminate his central office altogether. Cruise Adventure Travel Inc. agents now work remotely from small or home offices, and Lounder is still able to communicate effectively with every employee. He uses an online control center to connect new employees, and can monitor call logs and listen to recordings to review customer service standards at any time.

  • Free long distance and international calling: The affordability of Hosted PBX proved a great help to Lounder’s growing business. He could place international and long distance calls to remote agents without incurring extra call costs, and was able to use his telecommunications system to expand the borders of his business.

  • Seamless call transfer: Using hosted PBX, Lounder was able to set up a follow-the-sun system, whereby international customers calling Cruise Adventure Travel Inc. are automatically connected with the first available agent. This feature helped Lounder avoid losing international customers to time zone differences.