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Days Inns greets guests with new reservations technology.

In our business, we seldom get a second chance. When most people travel, whether for business or a well-deserved vacation, they expect a certain level of convenience and comfort in return for their money. They need to feel confident that arrangements are being handled efficiently and their trip will be hassle-free. Typically, if expectations aren't met on their first visit, they won't be back.

At Days Inns of America Inc., we believe that a customer's impression of our company begins the moment they call for reservations. Customers want fast, efficient service--even before they arrive. They don't want to be kept waiting, especially when calling for reservations.

We view our reservations centers as the front line in marketing our business, the point where prospective guests and potential franchisers have their first contact with Days Inns. As a result, we continually look to new technology to provide guests with a favorable impression right from the start.

To that end, we recently became the first corporation in the world to employ AT&T's new Look-Ahead Interflow technology for our nationwide reservation system. This technology, available through our Definity Generic 2 Communications System, treats multiple call centers as one location.

Two cities, single center

In effect, it enables our reservations centers in Atlanta and Knoxville to operate as a single nationwide center. As a result, our call answer time has improved by more than 20%.

Last year, 700 reservations agents handled more than 10 million calls for our 950 properties then open worldwide. With such a large call volume, Look-Ahead Interflow has cut long distance costs by approximately 20% as callers spend less time on hold.

Productivity has also improved because better call management has helped streamline operations. With Look-Ahead Interflow, the workload is intelligently distributed between both locations, making call handling and staffing of work centers more efficient.

The new system also helps us to better schedule agents. Before, we had to predict the number of calls each center would receive and schedule accordingly. If we guessed wrong, there were times when one reservations center would be swamped with calls while agents at other centers sat idle.

Now, that scenario is a thing of the past. Any agent can handle any call.

More than a simple routing or transfer service, Look-Ahead Interflow has the intelligence to actually decide where the call will be answered first. If a call comes into the Atlanta reservations center and all agents are busy, the system will survey conditions in Knoxville to determine if the call should be sent there. If agents are available in Knoxville, the call is forwarded.

If Knoxville has no one available, the call will remain in queue in the Atlanta PBX while the system continuously checks parameters in its software program to reach the first available agent. The entire process, which can also be initiated from the Knoxville reservation center, takes only a fraction of a second and is transparent to the caller.

ISDN capability

In addition to being the first to use this new technology, Days Inns is the first hotel chain in the country to have AT&T's ISDN capability. For each call, ISDN provides information we can use to serve customers faster and make it easier for them to do business with us.

For example, with the ISDN Automatic Number Identification (ANI) feature or AT&T's Info-2 Service, the caller's telephone number can be automatically displayed on the agent's terminal.

This feature saves time, improves accuracy and boosts productivity because there's no need for the aget to ask for and type in the caller's number.

Today, we're just beginning to tap the vast information resources of ISDN. In the future, we expect to use ANI to match the calling number with a data base of valuable information about guests' preferences for a certain type of room, billing records and other facts for marketing purposes.
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Title Annotation:Days Inns of America Inc.
Author:Short, Helen
Publication:Communications News
Date:Jan 1, 1992
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