Britannia Hotels are a British hotel group with 61 hotels across the country, offering over 10,000 bedrooms. With location being key, Britannia Hotels can be found in prime cities across the UK, as well as near major airports, in coastal beachfront towns, or surrounded by stunning countryside.
In early 2011, Britannia Hotels acquired Pontins, a staple of British coastal holiday making since its founding in 1946. With half a dozen holiday parks dotted around the British coast, Pontins specialises in catering for families and groups with high value for money chalets and rooms.
Pontins’ SMS Requirements
With a continuous focus on making improvements to the quality of experience for their customers, Pontins were looking to SMS as a way to provide guests with key information such as booking confirmations in an easy and convenient way.
This resulted in a couple of key requirements being identified. The first was that for any SMS deployment to be successful, it would need to integrate with Pontins’ existing systems to be able to provide seamless, automated message creation and delivery. Secondly, the system must be flexible to the seasonal nature of demand, being able to cope with high volumes of outbound messages during peak times, as well as remaining sensitive to the volume fluctuations when it comes to pricing and billing.
How did the relationship come about?
Through an existing relationship with Konica Minolta, Britannia Hotels were quickly introduced to ProcessFlows and their SMS platform: 123-txt. Since Konica Minolta’s acquisition of ProcessFlows in 2016, the two organisations have worked hard to help each other meet complex customer needs by enriching each other’s offering, bringing together a unique blend of technical solutions and expertise.
Neil Blakeley, a Senior Client Manager at Konica Minolta, tells us, “The ability to offer my customers access to the 123-txt Cloud SMS platform is another great example of how we are expanding our reach into our customers with our growing software and IT Services portfolio“.
“The level of support we receive from the team we deal with at ProcessFlows for the 123-txt solution really is second to none. They ensure our customers’ requirements are fully understood and the on boarding service to the platform they offer post sale gives me the confidence that I will have a happy customer”
Pre Sales Consultant at Konica Minolta
What is 123-txt and how has it been deployed?
After an initial scoping meeting, it was agreed that ProcessFlows’ 123-txt solution would be able to meet the existing requirements, as well as provide the opportunity to grow and adapt in the future if required. Whilst 123-txt, a cloud-based SMS system, possesses a rich feature set accessible via a web-based interface, it was the ability to seamlessly integrate with Pontins’ existing systems in order to ‘text enable’ them that was crucial.
By utilising 123-txt’s wide range of APIs, Pontins were able to set up automated application-to-person SMS messaging to provide personalised confirmation messages and other notifications as part of their reservation system, PEARS. This meant that quality of service was improved whilst simultaneously freeing up time for staff.
In addition to system interoperability, flexibility was a key requirement. As 123-txt is built to be highly scalable, it was also well equipped to meet Pontins’ changing needs and seasonal demands. As an enterprise solution it was comfortable handing high traffic during peak periods and the flexible and competitive pricing means that 123-txt always provides excellent value for money with users only paying for the messages they send.
After a smooth integration with what Karen Pownall, Head of Group IT, Projects & Compliance at Britannia Hotels, described as ‘a very quick process’, we are excited to see how Pontins will continue to use SMS to further innovate and improve their already excellent customer service offering.