Is a Cisco BroadCloud Platform Worth the Investment? For Halldis, the Answer Is Yes
Travel is your chance to escape. You’re taken away from the life you know and are transported to a new world with different sights, cultures, and languages.
Whether you’re traveling on a family vacation or jetting off to your next business trip, it’s a chance for a unique and memorable experience. That’s where comes in. We were founded on a simple premise: the idea, for example, that enjoying a fabulous stay in a beautiful villa in Tuscany shouldn’t be difficult or unaffordable, let alone impossible.
Based in Italy, the reach of our company initially extended to Rome, Paris, and Brussels. Today, Halldis offers accommodations in major tourist cities all across Europe. We have specialized in the short-term rental market for more than 30 years, and have over 1,850 apartment locations across the world.
But we don’t just offer travelers a bed to sleep in—far from it. We provide everything involved with cultivating a one-of-a-kind travel adventure. To do that, we need to stay properly connected to our customers, before, during, and after the travel experience.
Two Groups, One Mission
Our company serves two groups of travelers: individuals and businesses. On the individual side, it could be a couple looking for a romantic getaway, or a football star trying to escape the limelight for a short while. For businesses, their focus could be on longer-term rentals for their traveling employees. This represents a big part of our revenue because of the length of their stays. Some companies will sign three-year contracts with us, so retaining that business is critical.
As part of our mission to provide unforgettable experiences, we offer options you won’t find in a normal vacation rental—from being picked up at the airport to nearly any other amenity you can imagine. We want our guests to feel at home while traveling. Through every part of their trip, our service representatives are just a phone call away to ensure their needs are being met. But that phone call is where problems can arise—at least from an operational standpoint.
Customer service is at the heart of our business mission. We need to provide our travelers with the best information and experience so they always think Halldis when it’s time for their next vacation. But what happens when on a call with a member of our staff, there’s a poor connection? Or perhaps a customer cannot reach us at all? When I joined Halldis, this was our reality.
Giving People an Experience Worth Having
When I originally met with the CEO of Halldis, he asked me to assist the company in their technological evolution and governance. We embarked on a large project strategy to redesign our entire customer interaction approach.
Halldis offers customer service seven days a week, and the communication solution underneath it all is imperative to our success as a business. But this wasn't our reality. Our legacy telephony system had become unreliable. We couldn't manage our call flows or organize call groups in a dynamic way. This didn't support our customer-driven mission.
Our agents needed real-time information at their fingertips. They required the best connection and routing capabilities. Essentially, our communications system needed to work flawlessly. A lost call was and still is the potential for lost business. We needed a communications platform to uniformly connect our agents to better serve our customers.
Based on my past experience, I realized that was the answer to our problems. I have a long history with Cisco—dating back to the ‘90s. I’ve always admired that the technology leader has a longstanding reputation of great service and stability. We wouldn't go wrong with Cisco at the center of our communications technology.
Closer to Our Customers
We worked closely with the service provider , a certified Cisco BroadSoft provider, who helped us implement the . BroadCloud offers a wide range of calling and communications capabilities from analytics to predictive routing. Most important of all: it’s cloud-based. A cloud offering like BroadCloud allows better collaboration for our teams which means better support and communications experiences for our customers.
The BroadCloud platform helps us with reliability and routing—especially for our international clients. When I first experienced the solution, one feature I loved was the automatic language detection capability. This feature enables our system to route callers to the right language-speaking agent to ensure an immediate, personalized, and comfortable interaction. This is an exciting customer service capability for Halldis.
Additionally, BroadCloud's unified communications provides our service agents with great insights into who’s calling. For instance, Sentiment Recognition helps us understand if customers are upset or in a hurry when they call. This information is important for our agents as they can interact in more meaningful and personal ways that help our customers quickly and efficiently get the service they need. We are able to deepen our relationships and offer new experiences based on our customers' past ones—because we intuitively know who’s on the other end of the phone. This is where call flows also come into play. Using BroadCloud, we can ensure a customer always gets routed to the best possible agent to handle their specific needs—especially when the customer is traveling.
And there's more. BroadCloud's multichannel capabilities enable our agents to communicate with our customers in a way that works best for them: live conversation, instant message and chat, or SMS messaging.
Overall, our teams are more collaborative than they've ever been. Information about customers and their needs are no longer trapped in silos as they once were. Because everyone is connected through the same powerful system, data is passed freely among key stakeholders as they engage with customers at various points along their journey.
We’re still early in this transformation. This is a long-term project strategy—which includes AI, IoT, and customer interaction—and is a major technological shift in Halldis. Our goal is to create a competitive advantage by generating new revenue streams, increasing existing ones, and reducing costs. BroadCloud is a big part of realizing our strategy.
Bridging the Gap Between the Tangible and the Digital
With the pillars of technology starting to form in Halldis today, we have our eyes set on what’s possible for us tomorrow. For instance, machine learning, natural language processing, and robotics have their implications for any business strategy, as well as the economic and societal issues they raise; it all stems from a customer-centric mindset. As we live in an increasingly digital world, it makes sense for travel to blur the line between tangible and digital. We're not too far from a time where virtual assistants powered by AI will be managing some or even all of a customer's stay. These are the types of things we're thinking about now, and we're tremendously excited about them.
Every step of the journey for our travelers needs to be perfect. Because of our incredible customer service and attention to detail, we don’t think you’ll get a better travel experience anywhere else. We hope your next destination feels like a home away from home.