Luxury Home Rental Club Finds a Cloud Phone Solution with the Right Capabilities—and Concierge-Quality Service
I wanted a simple, predictable plan that let us pay only for what we needed, and to add or remove licenses as often as necessary. Only RingCentral offered us that level of flexibility.
VP of Corporate Development and M&A
Calls viewed and analyzed
Increase in support team capacity
Veeve is an international home rental club that helps visitors to London and Paris find the right high-end private homes to make their short stays as comfortable and luxurious as possible. The company is backed by venture capital firm Smedvig Capital.
Many vacationers find their short-term rental homes disappointing because these properties are often full-time rentals, turned over to new tenants every few days, and not cared for on a regular basis. London-based Veeve was founded to solve this challenge.
Veeve developed a home rental club that was unique in several ways. First, the company built a portfolio exclusively of high-end, private homes that would be available for rent only when their full-time residents themselves were away on holiday or business.
Second, Veeve created a hotel-style concierge experience for its guests. Where most home rental businesses simply send new tenants a property’s key code and wish them well, Veeve helps guests make reservations, arrange transportation during their stay, and purchase tickets for local events. The company even offers home-delivery services while guests are in one of its properties.
This innovative home rental model has proven wildly successful. The company’s hundreds of outstanding customer reviews on Trustpilot, for example, have placed Veeve on the site’s short-list of “great” companies. And soon after its launch, Veeve attracted millions in venture capital funding and even a strategic investment from rental giant Wyndham Worldwide.
But as Veeve’s portfolio of rental homes expanded to more than 2,000 properties, and the company added staff and even a Paris location to accommodate customer demand, the IT team found themselves spending an increasing amount of time administering the phone system.
A phone system lacking in both features and customer service
The telecom solution Veeve signed up for when the company launched in 2011 served it well at first. But the system’s shortcomings became clearer—and more problematic—as the company grew.
“This was not a user-friendly phone system from an administrator’s point of view,” says Head of IT Symon Oevering. “My support engineers and I spent a lot of time trying to make changes and updates ourselves, and when we couldn’t we had to spend a lot of time trying to get help from the provider.”
One challenge was trying to connect the company’s London and Paris offices. “We didn’t have a seamless way to transfer calls between locations,” he says, “and all inter-office conversations were costly international phone calls.”
But the challenge that accelerated the company’s search for a better solution came when Veeve’s phone provider announced they were cancelling all voice-recording services and gave the company just 30 days to pull down all of its archived calls. As Symon explains: “This was a regulatory issue for us. To comply with GDPR, we need to maintain recordings of customer calls, and suddenly we couldn’t do that anymore.”
There were just too many limitations with our old phone system: the lack of features, the difficulty administering it, the poor customer service. We were growing, and we needed something better.
Head of IT
The unified cloud solution that solved all of these challenges
When he began rolling out RingCentral’s global cloud communications solution, Symon knew Veeve had the solution to the most urgent phone challenges facing the company. First, he solved the GDPR issue. “We’re automatically recording and archiving all customer calls on the RingCentral platform, so we’re no longer exposed from a compliance standpoint,” he says.
And because RingCentral is cloud-based and allows Veeve’s IT team to easily administer the system online, from anywhere, Veeve’s international offices were more connected than they’d ever been. “Transferring calls between locations is so easy now, and it’s easy to have people at both offices as part of the same call queues because we’re all on a single system.”
Also, phone conversations between the UK and France offices are now inexpensive local calls—which is helping Veeve to considerably lower its overall telecom costs.
PJ O’Riordan, IT Systems Administrator at Veeve was glad to minimise the effort and cost of maintaining their previous on-prem infrastructure. “It became very frustrating trying to make changes quickly—with RingCentral we can manage things ourselves and now have a scalable model that suits us long-term”.
“The flexibility of being able to amend things like IVRs and call queues allows us and our employees to adapt to the hybrid world of work we all now expect to be the norm”
Additionally, when PJ’s team had technical questions, the RingCentral support team was always there to help. “We’re in the concierge service business ourselves,” he explains, “so we know what outstanding support and service looks like. That’s what we got from RingCentral.”
Enabling a seamless transition during the lockdowns
When he was investigating new cloud phone solutions for Veeve, one of the priorities was making sure the system would help the company from a business continuity perspective. “One of the things that appealed to me right away about RingCentral was its 99.999% guaranteed uptime,” Symon recalls.
But Symon had no idea that, almost immediately after Veeve signed up for RingCentral, the company would be using the all-in-one cloud solution to support its entire staff in both countries working from home.
The team at RingCentral really went out of their way to support us in a time of need… in terms of training and technical support and making sure we were able to keep our costs down.
IT Systems Administrator
One immediate and urgent purpose RingCentral served in the early days of the lockdowns was to help Veeve’s operational teams manage the influx of guest cancellation requests. As Symon explains: “RingCentral’s automated greeting system is easy to configure and update, so we were able to quickly add a message about how best to submit their cancellation request. That saved us so much time.”
He continues: “When the lockdowns happened, we got everyone set up with their RingCentral accounts and apps that weekend. Within a week, the whole company was fully operational from home. It was incredible, and I hate to think what that transition would have looked like if we hadn’t just signed up with RingCentral.”
Every chance I get now, I’m recommending RingCentral to colleagues responsible for their companies’ phone systems. That’s how strongly I feel about this solution and the service of the company behind it.
Head of IT