Graham Wood, Director of Operations: Hospitality at Sun International Holdings.
The Sun International Group operates a diverse portfolio of hospitality and gaming assets, including world-class five-star hotels, premier resorts and modern casinos in prime locations.
As an extension of its diversified offer of games and casinos, the group also operates SunBet Sports Bettinga leading online betting platform that offers various online betting options including sports betting, fixed odds lucky number draws and live dealer games, combined with competitive odds and other innovative features.
The solution: Genesys Cloud
Industry: Hospitality and gaming
Vendor: Pivotal data
User: Sun International Group
Sun International’s contact center is the focal point of the operation. The contact center operation handles reservations for the group through the Sun Touch customer contact center and a dedicated reservations department at Sun City Resort, as well as the Vacation Club and Sun International loyalty program, Sun MVG and customer support for SunBet.
The Contact Center serves as the primary point of customer contact and engagement across these divisions and is essential to delivering the authentic personalized service for which the brand has become synonymous.
“As customer engagement preferences have evolved over time, our contact center capabilities have had to adapt to continue to meet these changing demands and requirements,” said Graham Wood, director of operations: Hospitality at Sun International Holdings.
Sun International Group initially used a competing platform, but chose to implement an interactive intelligence solution to meet the changing needs of its contact center. Then, following the acquisition of Interactive Intelligence by GenesysSun International Group took the opportunity to move to a system that integrates with the company’s internal business processes.
The group included Pivotal dataa Genesys Gold Partner, as its preferred solution implementer. Based on the functionality offered at the time, Sun International chose to implement an on-premises Genesys PureConnect solution when the company consolidated contact center operations into Sun International’s corporate headquarters.
The migration started in July and the solution for 14 users was successfully implemented in mid-October. This transition included a three-week freeze period and required careful attention to internal change management.
However, as customer engagement preferences continued to evolve, the company needed better integration with web and social media channels, particularly to cater to the online betting market.
“We had previously considered Genesys Cloud solution, but the features and capabilities of the solution at the time did not meet our specific requirements,” says Wood.
However, the Pivotal Data team has continuously kept Sun International informed of developments within the Genesys Cloud solution and when Pivotal Data determined that the time was right to migrate, the team demonstrated the solution in 2020.
“Based on the more in-depth solution layout and functionality compared to Genesys PureConnect, we agreed that the continued evolution of the Genesys Cloud Platform meant that it now offered the functionality we needed. As such, we have made the strategic decision to migrate to the cloud,” continues Wood.
Sun International continued its established partnership with Pivotal Data and handed over the critical cloud migration project to its trusted contact center solutions provider.
Karl Reed, Director of Solutions at Pivotal Data.
Pivotal Data began the transition from the on-premises Genesys PureConnect solution to the Genesys Cloud platform by first migrating the SunBet contact center.
“Genesys Cloud’s ability to support multiple channels of engagement has enabled the group to continue to provide its customers with a world-class online betting experience,” said Karl Reed, chief solutions officer at Pivotal Data.
The group’s reservations division, Sun Touch, followed soon after. The implementation took place in December during the group’s busiest peak period.
“We typically follow a phased approach when implementing new channels. However, we needed the solution to go live with all channels immediately operational while respecting all internal processes. We implicitly trusted Pivotal Data to fulfill the mandate and as such have chosen to forego our usual approach,” explains Wood.
The transition was seamless, with all 110 agents gaining instant access to omnichannel capabilities without any loss of business continuity.
The successful implementation gave reservations and reservations contact center agents instant access to omnichannel engagement capabilities, including voice, email, web messaging, social media and WhatsApp for business.
The migration also gave contact center teams access to vital workforce management, complex email capabilities with AppFoundry, an outbound dialer, improved dashboards and to gamification features that have improved operational performance.
“Perhaps most importantly, migrating our contact center to the cloud was a strategically important decision as it ensured our sustainability during a very difficult time for the hospitality industry as South Africa entered the ‘one of the toughest lockdown regimes in the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,’ says Wood.
When the South African government implemented strict Tier Five and Tier Four lockdown restrictions, which effectively shut down the local hospitality industry, Sun International needed a contact center solution that would maintain business continuity. activities, in particular for the online betting division, with working from home (WFH) for all staff, including agents in the reservations and reservations divisions.
“While PureConnect also provided access to WFM functionality, the customer chose not to enable it because it required too much information per agent,” Reed continues.
The functionality of the Genesys Cloud solution has enabled Sun International to monitor agent productivity and performance remotely while creating a platform to collaborate and communicate effectively during the government-mandated lockdown.
Sun International also used workforce management and analytics tools to determine how many Sun Touch contact center agents should return to the office when regulations permitted. With granular reporting capabilities, the management team was able to select the best agents based on agent quality scores.
The SunBet team continued to work primarily from home and have continued to do so since the easing of lockdown restrictions.
Beyond the ability to navigate lockdown restrictions efficiently, the implementation of Genesys Cloud has given Sun International greater visibility into the operation and performance of its contact center with access to granular data and call recordings.
“The customizable dashboard and reporting functionality of the cloud solution has improved our agent management capabilities, which has boosted our overall performance,” says Wood.
Since implementing both Genesys contact center solutions with Pivotal Data, Sun International’s conversion rate has improved significantly from 13% to 40%-45%, a rate the customer has maintained since migration to Genesys Cloud.
Building more advanced web chat functionality has also helped Sun International reduce call volumes to the contact center, as the reservations division is now able to generate more online traffic.
Importantly, Sun International is now well positioned to continue its contact center modernization strategy, with easy access to new features and functionality, additional engagement channels, including relevant social media platforms and an online chat to support its digital booking platform.
Contact center operations now also have access to other advanced features such as automation to support increased call volumes.
Sun International plans to leverage Genesys Cloud to run more outbound campaigns that leverage integrated customer data and customer permissions to build connections to increase bookings and increase revenue with personalized and relevant offers.
“Importantly, we now have the ability to scale our contact center as our business needs and customer engagement preferences continue to evolve over time,” concludes Wood.