NSL Helps Theatre Chain Evolve Purchasing Experience

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The Customer

HQ Theatres – now part of Trafalgar Entertainment, operating as Trafalgar Theatres – has run many of the UK’s most prestigious performance venues for over 15 years, both in central London and across the UK.
From top West End productions to live music acts, big-name stand-up comedy to ballet and opera – Trafalgar has it all, while delivering industry-leading hospitality and first-class service.

The Challenge

Previously, each of HQ’s 17 theatres ran its own box office phone line for enquiries and ticket bookings with no visibility or insight across the customer experience or journeys. During the pandemic, HQ Theatres was acquired by Trafalgar Entertainment, presenting the perfect opportunity to reimagine the customer experience.

Thankfully, Trafalgar Entertainment already relied on NSL for its communication before HQ’s acquisition and trusted the team to revolutionise HQ Theatres’ call management system and incorporate features such as call-backs and the ability to update sales offers on Auto Attendant messaging, to increase ticket sales.

The Solution

With very short lead times, non-geo numbers were confirmed for each site, directing calls to the new central box office, managed by Nicola. NSL delivered a simple 8×8 Virtual Office telephone system for call answering, visiting Ruth’s new box office to train Nicola’s team in how to get the most from it.

Though, the analytics that 8×8 provides were not enough for Nicola and HQ’s stakeholders to interrogate the data enough to pull useful insights.

Analytic reports were created, complete with ‘transaction codes’ for different scenarios, with local and remote wall boards. Detailed call and agent analytics were uploaded to NSL’s CRM providing meaningful visual information.

Thankfully, this was identified early in the planning stage, and NSL decided to go over and above, implementing a bespoke reporting solution, built within NSL’s own data platform. This ensured robust call analytics (volume / not answered / time of day) alongside call routing and call queuing to prevent ‘engaged tones’ when lines were busy.


The Results

Now, every caller’s experience has been improved by eliminating ‘engaged tones’ and adding the ability to be called back while retaining the caller’s place in the queue.

Every fortnight, NSL and HQ now discuss metrics to find new optimisations. Soon after deployment, with HQ’s new reporting tools, it was clear that many calls were simply to check start- and end times.

Therefore, NSL suggested using the Auto Attendant system to inform callers of key information. Within a week, call volumes dropped dramatically, which was a great win for Nicola, as the team fielding calls had dropped from 17 agents across locations, to a central team of 6.

In turn, NSL has helped staff at each site to be more efficient, devoting their time to more pressing needs while reducing the necessary headcount (further reducing costs) for each venue. All while providing customers with a more seamless experience that callers can control.

In fact, the solution was so successful that Trafalgar Entertainment Group has contracted again with NSL to implement the same solution across other businesses in the organisation, enabling better customer and staff experiences across even more theatres!

“The core of the idea was to take the 17 existing box offices, each with its own local number, and run them out of a single site through a new, bespoke system designed from the ground up!”

Nicola Pinborough, Box Office Manager, HQ Theatres

“We took 8×8’s reports, input those into our Salesforce CRM and created graphs that are more user-friendly, using those graphs to talk through call flows, volumes etc. to get ahead of challenges.”

Mark Bryan, Sales Director, NSL

“The management of calls is particularly challenging compared to most contact centres as there are frequent sales for tickets, causing significant spikes to call volumes.”

Nicola Pinborough, Box Office Manager, HQ Theatres

“In the transition from ‘local’ to ‘central’, we’ve been able to drill down on how much time we spend emailing venues or giving out performance information. NSL helped us identify new best practices like getting vital performance information from venues, to ensure time isn’t wasted further down the line.”

Nicola Pinborough, Box Office Manager, HQ Theatres

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