National Express transforms travel with 8x8
Staying ahead of the competition and adhering to changing customer expectations in the transportation industry requires a constant commitment to innovation and evolution. Today’s customers expect their interactions with travel companies to be secure, convenient, and streamlined, just like the journeys themselves.
As the landscape continues to evolve, and the way businesses interact with customers continues to transform, transportation brands need to consistently look for ways to remove friction from the buyer journey. This means implementing the latest tools for customer service, and payment processing.
When National Express discovered a new demand for simple contactless payments and enhanced digital services among its customer base, it knew it was time to upgrade its CX strategy. Working with 8×8 to create a new CX platform, and implement integrations with Salesforce and PCI Pal allowed National Express to stay on top of the UK market.
National Express stands out as one of the largest coach operators in the UK. The company serves hundreds of cities and towns, and millions of passengers across the country every day. It’s also on-hand to help with transportation to events, airports, sporting events, and tourist destinations.
Maintaining a position as the top choice for customers travelling throughout the UK, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and North America requires an excellent CX strategy from the National Express Group. To deliver experiences which adhere to customer expectations, the company needs the best technology and the most efficient, optimized team members.
Before switching to 8×8’s solution for CX and workplace management, National Express had already begun a transition into the new age of cloud communications. However, the cloud contact centre solution implemented by the team had some limitations. It didn’t support the data privacy requirements of the organisation, and lacked adherence to crucial PCI DSS regulations.
To secure the business and protect customers, National Express needed a new solution. The business began looking for a contact centre offering capable of supporting agents in accepting payments over the phone, without putting private data at risk. The need for this contactless and frictionless environment increased during the pandemic, when employees needed to continue serving customers from home, rather than working in a secure workspace.
According to Lawrie Neal, the Salesforce System Administrator for the National Express Team, the company had already begun re-evaluating its CX strategy a couple of years prior to interacting with 8×8. However, a transformational strategy hadn’t been implemented before the pandemic arrived. When the challenges facing the company evolved, Neal decided it was time to connect with 8×8.
Lawrie had heard of 8×8 in the past, and considered its flexible cloud environment to be a powerful tool for the business. He met with an 8×8 sales rep at a trade show, who gave a fantastic demonstration of what the platform could do. Neal was particularly impressed by the integration 8×8 offered with Secure Pay (from PCI Pal).
At the beginning of 2021, National Express began its transition into the 8×8 Contact Centre ecosystem, bringing more than 100 customer service professionals on board. The company also accessed 8×8 Work for its administrative team members, to boost collaboration and efficiency. Plus, the team leveraged 8×8’s University training capabilities to onboard new team members.
During the transition to 8×8, National Express added the “Secure Pay” service from 8×8 to the contact centre implementation, offering customers a safe and reliable way to provide credit card and bank information to agents over the phone. The “Secure Pay” service makes it quick and easy to manage transactions through 8×8, while keeping customer data secure.
Clients can enter their payment details through their phone keypad, and the 8×8 ecosystem automatically masks the DTMF tones, while routing the information through PCI Pal to process the payment. The agent can see when the transaction is successfully completed within the in-house booking system, without ever having access to the card number.
Thanks to 8×8’s partnership with PCI Pal, National Express has delivered a more convenient, straightforward, and risk-free payment option for customers reaching out to the contact centre. This has become increasingly valuable now that the majority of the team’s employees are working from home on a full-time basis. The PCI Pal integration provides a crucial layer of security, compliance, and protection for teams accepting payments in any environment.
After taking part in a beta program, National Express also became an early adopter of the new agent-friendly contact centre environment for agents, “Agent Workspace”.
The solution was designed by 8×8 to streamline everyday customer interactions, automate workflows, and keep agents productive, efficient, and engaged. According to Neal, the UI is clean and simple, and agents appreciate the simplified design. As part of their new strategy with 8×8, the National Express Team also took advantage of an available integration with Salesforce.
The Salesforce integration with 8×8 allows the team to leverage the best of both platforms in one convenient environment. National Express customised its integration to track all incoming conversations in the Salesforce environment, allowing for stronger customer relationships. The remote agent team for the company can now access valuable customer information to improve relationships with greater security and flexibility.
Not only has the move to the 8×8 contact centre improved the security of the transactions handled by National Express, but it has also had a direct impact on team performance and productivity. The 8×8 Agent Workspace environment offers agents a simple and intuitive landscape where they can access valuable information and process conversations at speed.
According to Neal, by reducing the amount of time involved in handling a call, the 8×8 ecosystem has helped to boost customer satisfaction and reduce call queues. What’s more, syncing the call data collected through the contact centre with Salesforce leads to more valuable insights and improved decision-making strategies.
With 80% of its employees now working from home full-time, National Express believes 8×8 has become an essential part of its strategy for serving customers securely and efficiently from anywhere.