The Sportpaleis Group is made up of four companies. Antwerps Sportpaleis manages a range of events venues in Antwerp (Sportpaleis, Lotto Arena, Stadsschouwburg), Brussels (Vorst Nationaal), Ghent (Capitole) and Hasselt (Ethias Arena, Ethias Theater, Grenslandhallen). The company PSE Belgium organizes events, such as Night Of The Proms and the concerts at the Sportpaleis by Clouseau. The third company in the group is Tele Ticket Service. This is the ticketing office responsible for ticket reservations and sales by telephone and online for events, not only on behalf of PSE Belgium, but also for other clients such as Proximus Go For Music. Finally, there is GVA, the company that develops and markets this ticketing software. Users of the software include 28 Belgian football clubs.
The roots of Tele Ticket Service go back to the 1980s, when Night Of The Proms organized by PSE Belgium was their first customer. “At the time, we were the first major telephone reservations platform in Belgium,” explains Stefan Esselens, director of Tele Ticket Service and GVA. “We were able to remove a big barrier. Everyone could simply order tickets by telephone, so it was no longer necessary to go to a record store to buy them.” Nowadays, the majority of ticket orders are placed online. But the telephone still remains an important channel for Tele Ticket Service. “Some 20 to 25 percent of our sales take place by telephone. Or if customers have questions, they tend to prefer the telephone.” Tele Ticket Service currently still operates a call center with five permanent employees, and during peak times, the team is expanded to 8 to 10 agents.
Call center functionality: “Automatic Call Distribution”
It’s the peak moments that continue to pose the greatest challenge for Tele Ticket Service. “Online, everything goes faster,” points out Stefan Esselens, “simply because per minute, we are able to process more reservations. But the pressure on the infrastructure has not fundamentally changed. Twenty years ago, it may have been Michael Jackson, today it’s Justin Bieber. Back then, everyone reached for the telephone at the same time, now everyone goes online at once.”The telephone infrastructure at Tele Ticket Service relies on a Forum 500(0) telephone switchboard from Belgacom. The call center functionality “Automatic Call Distribution” (ACD) is completely integrated into the platform.
“There are huge peak moments for ticket sales for concerts,” according to Geert Peeters of DeTeWe, the company that carried out the implementation for Belgacom. “So we can safely claim that we are talking about proven technology here.” This also makes the solution suitable for use by the average SME. “Insurance brokers, garage managers, dentists: they all frequently have to contend with many calls within a short period of time.” A professional reception and optimal call management are important for them. Stefan Esselens: “the solution ensures that the caller does not get a busy signal, or get placed in a call queue, and that the right message is played in order to ensure efficient service.”
The Sportpaleis Group oversees the operation of events venues in Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent and Hasselt, organizes events and supports the associated ticket sales.
Forum 500(0) telephone switchboard with integrated call center functionality “Automatic Call Distribution” (ACD):
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