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Hard Rock International

Hard Rock’s Customer Care Team Rocks On with Tribridge and Microsoft Dynamics CRM

About Hard Rock International

With 124 high-energy Hard Rock Cafes and nine Hotels/Casinos in 50 countries, Hard Rock International is one of the world’s most globally recognized brands. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, Hard Rock Live performance venues and an award-winning website.

In addition to the two flagship Seminole Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, Fla., Hard Rock Hotels/Casinos are located in Las Vegas, Biloxi, Orlando, Chicago, San Diego, Pattaya and Bali. Additional hotel and casino projects have been announced in Macau and Penang, both scheduled to open in 2009; Palm Springs, Atlanta and Panama, scheduled to open in 2010; Dubai, scheduled to open in 2011; and Abu Dhabi, scheduled to open in 2012. Hard Rock International, Inc. is owned by Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment, Inc.

Business Situation

Love All - Serve All; "It's About the Customers

Since opening its doors in London in 1971, Hard Rock has achieved international success with its trademark “rock ‘n’ roll sensibility” and exceptional customer service. At the hub of this guest-centered approach is Hard Rock’s customer care team, which manages questions, issues and general information for all restaurants, hotels/casinos and events. The team also handles the customer loyalty program and provides support for The Rock Shop, Hard Rock’s retail store.

The customer care team managed approximately 55,000 inbound requests in 2007: 95% from email and the other 5% from Hard Rock’s toll-free phone number. Director of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Patrick Colbert explains that Hard Rock’s recipe for success entails filtering the guest’s request (that can’t be handled by customer care) directly to the general manager (GM) of a particular venue and ensuring that the GM promptly follows up and resolves any issues. “We get a lot of compliments from our guests, who state how impressed they are to have received a call or email directly from the GM.”

In order to keep up with the demands of this growing conglomerate, the customer care team needed to find a new CRM software application that would not conflict with Hard Rock’s infrastructure. “We needed software with new capabilities, solutions and benefits for Hard Rock,” said Patrick.


Tribridge Performs with Innovative Customer Service Solution

With a Microsoft SharePoint implementation already in progress at Hard Rock’s corporate headquarters, a team from Tribridge learned of additional needs in the Customer Care Department and subsequently performed a detailed analysis of the current system. In order to improve guest communications and ensure a smooth integration with Outlook, Tribridge designed a solution using Microsoft Dynamics® CRM customized for call centers and customer support, as well as several third-party software add-ons.

The implementation took eight weeks, with the Tribridge team working closely with customer care to complete a large-scale conversion of the customer database from the department’s legacy system. “Tribridge helped us with the data extraction and set up the entire system,” said Patrick. “As the launch date got closer, they provided fast responses to our questions and walked us through the whole process. Everybody on our team was up to speed after two training sessions.”


Better Customer Service through Better Tracking

The Dynamics CRM implementation has dramatically improved how Hard Rock manages communications with guests. Prior to working with Tribridge, the customer care team had to switch back and forth between software applications to manage internal and external emails, making it difficult to keep track of what had been done to resolve an open issue. Now, all inbound and outbound interactions are automatically tracked and integrated directly into Outlook.

With Dynamics CRM, every incoming email is now assigned a customized template corresponding to the particular Hard Rock location and issue. All subsequent correspondence is then identified and tracked according to the main point of contact and the location, allowing customer care to know at any given time what is happening in the process. From a customer service standpoint, the customized emails also show guests that their issues or requests are being addressed.

For example, a guest sends an email regarding his experience at a specific Hard Rock Cafe. The customer care rep immediately replies, acknowledging receipt of the email and the location. The GM for that restaurant is notified via email and is responsible for managing the guest recovery process and emailing customer care upon resolution. If, for whatever reason, 24 hours has passed without notification, the customer care rep reaches out again to confirm that the GM is actively handling the issue.

“It’s the inbound and outbound messaging between our team, the guest and the GM that makes this system so critical,” said Patrick. “For every step of the process, we keep in touch with the guest. We want to make sure that guests know that the GM is taking steps to resolve any issues and retain them as future customers.”

While the customer loyalty program is run on a separate application than Dynamics CRM, migrating the data out of the legacy system has since allowed the customer care team to easily access information and quickly answer guests’ common questions, such as user name and password inquiries.

Familiar Interface means User-Friendly Experience

According to Patrick, the Customer Care Department got up and running quickly after the implementation, thanks in large part to the familiar Microsoft look and feel of the Dynamics CRM application. “It just fits better into our infrastructure and works seamlessly with Exchange and Outlook. CRM is easy for the new user to grasp because things are right where they would normally be in Outlook.”

A More Stable Platform

The Customer Care Department has experienced significantly less downtime and virtually no outages since the implementation. The department’s previous software was the only one in the building running on a different platform, which made technical support particularly difficult. “The integration of Dynamics CRM into our infrastructure has been seamless and solid,” said Patrick.

Future Plans

As Hard Rock continues to expand its global reach, it’s imperative that the customer care team maintains speedy, courteous guest communications. The department’s new Dynamics CRM solution will ultimately allow Patrick to pull comprehensive reports on Hard Rock’s guest recovery efforts. “With CRM’s in-depth tracking capabilities, we will be able to identify recurring issues at a particular venue, avoid future problems and provide an even better experience for guests.”

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