Shangri-La Hotels

Achieving Peak Performance

This company is a 5 star international hotel chain comprising over 80 hotels and resorts. The organisation is committed to serving its customers in their mother tongue and operates multi-lingual contact centres in Malaysia and China to support its international customer base. A wide variety of languages are supported including Chinese languages (Mandarin and Cantonese), Arabic, Japanese, Korean, German, French and English, and the team is gearing up to provide services in Spanish specifically for the South American market in the very near future. The contact centre is open 24/7, supports all calling and emailing activity relating to enquiries, sales and service, not to mention their guest loyalty programme.

"We are committed to providing world-class customer service operations, which means that our focus on quality is relentless. Our discerning clientele rightly expects to receive 'top notch' service and that's why, in October 2012, we decided to make significant investments in best practice employee performance and training and scheduling solutions to help us not just meet customer expectations, but to surpass them," explains Alex S., Training and Quality Manager. With an ambitious vision and an unwavering commitment to succeed, the group sets about identifying specialist technologies that would help achieve its goals.

Getting started

"At the outset, it was challenging to know where to start. The marketplace is full of tools and solutions that purport to deliver substantial - and, quite frankly unbelievable - business benefits, which can make things quite confusing. One of our existing technology partners suggested that we investigate Optimizer and Planner from Silver Lining Solutions, so we did and I'm glad we did!" continues Alex.

Exploratory workshops with their Training team took place to define objectives and understand how Silver Lining's solutions could deliver value quickly. This process and the business case analysis gave the company the reassurance it needed to procure the solutions and set out to establish world-class training and learning & development environments across the contact centre estate. "Silver Lining's solutions help us with a host of business requirements ranging from recruitment and individual assessments right through to scheduling training and pinpointing what training's required and what training is working," continues Alex. "In fact, there are so many things it can do, that we have yet to fully explore all angles and capabilities!"

Managing what matters

At the centre, getting new hires up to speed typically took between 5 and 6 weeks. Today, the company has gradually reduced that time investment thanks to Optimizer's rich functionality. "With Optimizer, we push out quizzes and assessments throughout the induction period to understand what was learned during the training. The beauty of the system is that we're able to use a variety of media - videos, content links and recordings - which is really appealing to our agents. In addition, it's so quick and easy to pinpoint which individuals have achieved the required levels and which haven't, and this ability allows us to address specific skill gaps. Our agents can take ownership of their own development as they understand which areas they need to improve," explains Alex. "And, last but not least, we're able to track progress right through to Customer Service Executive certification, which means that our customers will only ever speak to people who have reached our exacting standards. It's no longer a 'guessing' game and we've said goodbye to the sheep dip training approach for good".

To keep customer service top notch, after certification, the Training Team conducts monthly assessments to ascertain product knowledge for everything from loyalty cards to specific hotels and resorts. To further incentivise great performance, knowledge levels and linked to mid-year and end of year reviews.

Rapid and compelling ROI

In just over six months, the company is realising a whole host of benefits:

  • The intuitive, feature-rich technology is helping agents take ownership of their own development
  • Agents get feedback on personal achievement a lot faster and always know where they stand
  • The solutions are WFM friendly and can be integrated into their WFM system, thereby reducing time consuming scheduling activities
  • Reporting is quick and intuitive and delivers hugely valuable management information
  • Trainers are empowered. Not only are the time savings significant, the approach is robust and systematic, which means they are able to support individuals effectively
    • Previously, trainers needed to collect the tests and mark them manually. A single paper took 5-7 minutes to mark, but today it's a click away and only takes a few seconds
  • Customers have confidence in the agents as they are knowledgeable about their products

"Silver Lining Solutions helped us realise considerable business benefits extremely quickly. Their software and professional services expertise have delivered massive efficiency and productivity gains. The people are also great to work with; they are consistently supportive, enthusiastic and nothing is too much trouble," concludes Alex.

Silver Lining Solutions and the centre have a strong relationship and work together closely to improve. Future initiatives include the use of Optimizer to further improve their employees' certification processes and to underpin promotions and career planning.

About the hotel chain

The story began in 1971 with a first deluxe hotel in Singapore. Inspired by the legendary land featured in James Hilton's 1933 novel, Lost Horizon, the company encapsulates the serenity and service for which the group's hotels and resorts are renowned for worldwide. Today, this hotel chain is Asia Pacific's leading luxury hotel group. It is also regarded as one of the world's finest hotel ownership and management companies. With over 80 hotels and resorts throughout Asia Pacific, North America, the Middle East, and Europe, the group has a room inventory of over 32,000. In addition, new hotels are under development in mainland China, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Qatar, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom.

About Silver Lining Solutions

Silver Lining Solutions enables organisations to pinpoint and replicate the employee skills, knowledge and attributes that drive the best business outcomes - quickly, cost-effectively and at scale. Our teams have deep industry knowledge and extensive exposure to customer management, contact centre and back office environments. This first-hand exposure helps us see things from your point of view - we understand the challenges you face and know how to overcome them to unlock significant business benefits. Leading companies around the world use our unique software solutions to transform the customer experience and achieve step change improvements in sales performance and operational efficiencies.