Enabling VoIP-based telephony underground with 3CX

Gradwell worked with Somerset based tourist attraction Wookey Hole to enable VoIP telephony underground and overground.

Connecting Underground, Above Ground & Remote Workers

Wookey Hole Caves



Wookey Hole is a tourist attraction based in Somerset which is comprised of a vast network of 50,000-year-old caves, which make it the largest in England. Wookey Hole welcomes around 250,000 visitors each year. Aside from the caves, they also have a large accommodation offering comprising of a holiday park, hotel, and lodges.

Gradwell are probably the only supplier of a 3CX solution in a cave!

The challenge

Wookey Hole had been operating on a legacy phone system for around 18 years and the management team realised that it no longer served the needs of the business. Chris Goodchild, General Manager at Wookey Hole, explains further: “We knew that we needed a VoIP-based system, which was something that our existing phone setup was not built for. It could no longer cope with anything that we wanted to do anymore.”

The Wookey Hole site spreads across a large area of land so, as well as the outdated phone system, they needed better communication on-site between colleagues in order to improve business operations and keep the organisation running smoothly. Wookey Hole have also embraced some remote and hybrid working since the pandemic, so a phone system that could easily keep colleagues connected no matter where they are was essential.

Another aspect that was suffering from the use of the old system was customer service. Customers were often not getting through to the correct area of the business and calls were routinely being missed so an upgrade to a new system was paramount.

The solution

After talking with a number of providers, Wookey Hole decided that Gradwell’s 3CX solution was perfect for them. Chris Goodchild added “We found Gradwell were one of the leading suppliers of 3CX in the country, after talking with you and several other companies it was clear that Gradwell were the ones we wanted to go with. The fact that you have 3CX preferred supplier status caught our attention from the word go.”

Another aspect of Gradwell’s offering that Wookey Hole liked was the pricing structure:

“Gradwell were by far and away the best value for money quote that we received, the Gradwell pricing structure is just phenomenal – such a massive difference from some other providers, and together with their exceptional service levels, it really was a no-brainer.”

Chris Goodchild, General Manager

The Gradwell team worked together with Wookey Hole’s IT department to install the 3CX solution, allowing them to implement it based on the specific needs of their business. “It was nice to actually work with a company that wanted to work with us, rather than one that simply takes over and does it all their way.” 

As part of the installation, Gradwell supported Wookey Hole with installing seven 3CX phones underground which are fundamental in the core operation of the caves. “Gradwell are probably the only supplier of a 3CX solution in a cave!”

The impact

The installation of 3CX has led to a significant improvement in day-to-day business operations at Wookey Hole. Overall communication has seen a marked improvement both internally and externally with customers, “There has been an increase in calls being picked up and a decrease in dropped calls. Remote working is working a million times better than it was before! We have had several staff having to isolate through covid so the ability to smoothly work from home has been a lifesaver for us!”

Phone calls into the business are now routed to the right place at the right time and marked up with which area of the business the customer is trying to get hold of, which has reduced missed calls and hold times.

The 3CX mobile app has been utilised heavily by the Wookey Hole team since its installation. The native apps, compatible with iOS and Android devices, offer secure communications for organisations and the ability for employees to take their extensions with them, no matter where they are based. “We’ve got a large site and so a lot of our team are spread out across a large area, so the 3CX mobile app is a great thing to have along with being able to hot desk if we need to and being able to deploy phones a lot easier.”

A key benefit of installing a 3CX solution is the potential cost savings that can be experienced, as Wookey Hole found out themselves:

“Installing 3CX has significantly reduced our phone bills, it has made a massive, massive difference.”

Chris Goodchild, General Manager

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