Delfont Mackintosh case study

Delfont Mackintosh is a leading theatre operator in London’s West End. The Prince Edward and Wyndham’s are just a few of the theatres in its portfolio. Direct telephone sales form a large part of its overall turnover.

The challenge

Due to the nature of the business, the quantity of call traffic received at the company’s booking office is of a very variable nature. Huge peaks of incoming calls can occur shortly after the release of a newspaper or internet advert. Once the allocation of tickets has been sold, traffic dies down to a much lower level. This situation is extremely difficult to manage in terms of the number of agents available to take the calls and the number of lines available. Typically the booking office would have a number of agents available during a busy period. Often there could be many more simultaneous callers than agents or inbound lines resulting in a large number of callers receiving busy tone.

This situation led to a lot of customer dissatisfaction and potential loss of sales.   To solve this problem, Delfont Mackintosh considered an ACD call queuing solution located within the booking office, together with an increase in the number of incoming lines. This would make a considerable improvement to the customer’s experience insomuch as more customers would be held in a queue instead of receiving busy tone. However, the capital cost and ongoing maintenance charges of installing queuing equipment and additional lines would be prohibitively expensive, particularly as their use is limited to very short durations, the remaining time, the equipment being a very expensive and underused resource.

The solution

Syntec’s widely deployed Network Queue product is ideally suited to this scenario. By virtue of its network location, the system is able to queue a large number of incoming calls without the addition of further infrastructure. The number of calls presented to Delfont Mackintosh’s booking office can be exactly matched to the number of agents available at the booking office. The number of lines installed at the booking office only has to match the number of agents deployed: no further capacity is required. Callers are immediately greeted with a welcome message and are given a choice of options available to them.

This allows several queues to be formed and the delivery destination of each queue to be different, enabling Delfont Mackintosh’s staff to be more efficiently deployed amongst the different roles, ie ticket sales, group bookings, general enquires etc.

Another benefit of Network Queue is automatic time control of various options. Opening hours can be controlled: outside normal opening times, callers will be greeted with a recorded announcement advising that the office is closed. However automated information is still available, allowing customers to listen to news about forthcoming events and shows. In the event of the call queue reaching a predetermined size, callers can be advised to call back later. In the case of ticket sales, callers can be advised as to when a particular concert has sold out, allowing them to end the call before waiting in a queue. This behaviour can be controlled in real time through the Syntec call control web portal.

Benefits to Delfont Mackintosh

The application of Syntec’s Network Queue product has resulted in huge improvements to Delfont Mackintosh’s operations from both their customers’ and their own perspective.

  •  Customers are reassured by an immediate answer from the system and do not have to keep re-dialing on meeting busy tone.
  • Calls are dealt with more efficiently and rapidly due to the formation of calling queues.
  • No further capital outlay has been required by Delfont Mackintosh.
  • Deployment has been fast and effective.
  • The system is fully scaleable and changes to its configuration can be made rapidly