Low overheads gives MountainSun the edge on best value short
MountainSun specialises in ski-to-door chalet hotel accommodation in prime skiing locations such as the French Alps and Italian Dolomites. The company evolved from a small, London-based ski equipment shop in 2003 when the founders took on a chalet for the ski season and noticed a gap in the market for affordable ski holiday travel. With an increase in healthier lifestyles and the growing demand for active, outdoor holidays, travel operators have seen profits boom. But with a lack of alternatives to traditional, high-priced tour operators, many customers have struggled to afford expensive ski holidays, often opting for cheaper, beach or city breaks instead. Providing value-for-money ski-to-door chalet hotel accommodation coupled with high-quality, friendly customer service, MountainSun successfully competes with the world’s largest travel operators. Since its inception, MountainSun has grown rapidly, becoming the specialist in seven-day and short-break chalet accommodation for summer activity holidays and winter sports. MountainSun now employs 30 staff over six chalets in the French Alps and Italian Dolomites.
Great customer service despite a disparate workforce
The Internet has changed how people book their holidays and with more and more customers booking holidays online MountainSun’s first priority was to launch an effective website.. Not wanting to miss a potential booking, the company turned its attention to its business communications and the phone system. One of the biggest challenges MountainSun faced was the fact that its staff were dispersed over many locations. With Jude Lamb, CEO based in Bath, the MD in London, reservations in Cornwall, the registered address in Essex, and chalet staff in Italy and France, the company were at odds on how they would ensure customers got through to the right person quickly and efficiently. A traditional PBX phone system which companies usually use to interconnect telephone lines and extensions within their offices didn’t make sense as it couldn’t transfer calls to different locations but the company were reliant on the phone for business and needed a professional phone solution.
“‘Unlike large tour operators, our team knows our chalet and resort facilities intimately. We are all able to offer a personal service, answer questions and give advice on anything from the best place to go for dinner in the area to how many lessons an eight-year-old first-time skier should have,”’ Jude explained. “‘That means we get hundreds of calls and it’s critical that we are available by phone and email at all
Low overheads = savings for customers
MountainSun were recommended a hosted solution for flexibility and opted for RingCentral as it catered best to its needs. With just an Internet connection and a phone, the company’s one-number phone system was up and running in minutes. The company uses the call management features to greet customers and direct them to the right person as soon as they dial in. Answering rules change depending on who’s available.
“As a small company, we want to offer the best possible prices to our customers and make sure we’re contactable 24/7, and RingCentral helps us do just that,” remarked Jude. “We don’t have a headquarters and don’t need one because our customers can reach us anytime, anywhere with just a single number. We’ve become renowned for value-for-money breaks and our personal service – they are our unique differentiators.”
“People draw conclusions when they see an individual mobile number – they don’t trust it”. The ability to advertise a single regional landline number means we can now portray a professional image’. Behind the scenes and transparent to the customer, calls are automatically answered and routed depending on call choices, staff availability and regardless of whether staff are at home on a landline or elsewhere using their mobile. In fact, ‘I’ve taken holiday enquiries from the ski lift added Jude.
Scaling for new markets
Buying behaviour in the winter sports market has changed dramatically over the last few years and MountainSun have stayed ahead of the market, replacing traditional advertising with search marketing, so that the ranks high in search results list when a customer searches for ski holidays online. As a result, it has discovered a whole new business opportunity with the younger snowboarding community and has grown rapidly as a result.
“We started out with five users and as the business has grown, RingCentral has scaled and grown with us,” said Jude. We found the system simple to set up – it’s very easy to add new lines and users, and employees can set their individual availability as easily as they can set an out-of-office on their emails. The call management features do the rest and intelligently route all incoming calls.”
Reliable and consistent service
The RingCentral solution provides a reliable, consistent service to underpin the service that MountainSun prides itself on.
“‘Cost savings are important and I know other businesses that are saving a lot of money through switching out their PBX solution. But to us, the most important thing is providing the best customer service and being as close to our customers as we can, no matter where we are,”
Looking forward to a bright future
Recommendations from happy customers and word of mouth are now the biggest contributors to MountainSun’s growing customer base and the team look forward to the monthly feature releases and advanced functionality that will support the next stage of their business growth.
MountainSun is a leading provider of short break chalet accommodation for summer activity and winter sports holidays.
Headquarters: UK, France, Italy
Size: 30+ employees
RingCentral customer since: 2010
"We don’t have a headquarters and don’t need one. RingCentral
keeps our overheads low and we pass these savings on to our customers.
We’ve become renowned for value-for-money breaks and personal service
– they are our unique differentiators. We started out with just five
users and as the business has grown, RingCentral has scaled and grown
- Jude Lamb, CEO