Your holiday to a T...
At Thomson we make sure that you, our customers, are the heart of everything we do as a business. Whilst that might sound very grand, it really is very simple – we’re dedicated to ensuring that every decision we make is based around your holiday needs.
As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words and we’ve introduced a number of customer focused initiatives, including the creation of a ‘Customer Board’ to define and implement a customer focussed culture across our business. Made up of representatives from senior management across the business including high street shops, call centres, airline and overseas staff, we meet regularly to discuss developments and to ensure your voice is heard.
But it’s not all talk and board meetings at our Head Office. Changes are underway at the airport and overseas and this is where you should start to notice some transformations. We’ve not plucked these changes from thin air either, but from research and throwing ourselves in at the deep end to get our hands dirty.
In 2008 our research and innovation teams spent time overseas talking to customers, hoteliers and suppliers, to find out what we could do to make our holidays even better. In addition, last January the senior team went back-to-the-floor at our high street shops across the UK, where we helped out with everything from stacking shelves with brochures, greeting customers and of course, the all important tea order!
Detailed below are just some of the things we've done to improve your holiday experience...
Research carried out with our online bookers showed that you wanted a one-stop-shop for all your holiday information so we set about making this possible. We've launched MyThomson, a personal pre-departure website for online customers. Once logged in, you'll be able to view useful information such as the weather forecast in your holiday destination, directions to the airport from your house (powered by Google Maps) and notifications of road-works en-route. Further details about the hotel and destination will also be available, with links to videos and photos.
You can also purchase helpful extras such as UK airport parking, car hire, holiday insurance and excursions in resort, and tick off items on your personal ‘holiday check-list’ with helpful reminders such as cancelling the milk, buying travel insurance and getting visas.
In the rare event of a flight delay, there’s nothing more frustrating than to be standing at the airport with no one telling you what is going on and when your flight is rescheduled to leave. We’ve now introduced dedicated delay co-ordinators at 21 airports in the UK who are responsible for ensuring that in the event of a delay over one hour, customers are kept up-to-date.
Should the flight be delayed by more than 3 hours, additional Delay Agents will be deployed to assist you. We’ve also introduced a dedicated telephone line which will be set up in the event of a 3 hour delay from the UK. Plus, if you give us your mobile phone number when you book, we’ll be able to send you text message updates.
Unlike most other travel companies, you can contact us 24/7 whilst on holiday. Our Travel Buddy service is a text based tool, which allows you to text our team of local experts for help, information and advice - be that booking excursions, finding out the best local bar or an update on the weather.
All of our resorts have a 24 hour Holidayline and there is a team of representatives available to assist you 24 hours a day, every day of the week, every week of the year. The Holidayline telephone number will be given to you when you arrive in resort, so please call us if you require any advice or help.
From our research we’re realised everyone wants something a little different from the welcome meeting in their holiday destination, so this year we’ve revamped the format of our welcome meetings. They are shorter – around 25 minutes and focused on providing useful expert information and guidance which customers need to know.
Each resort representative, whether a novice or experienced member of staff, has also visited or experienced whatever it is they’re advising customers on. So they have caught buses into town to check out the local time table and experienced local water parks or attractions. It’s the tour operators’ equivalent of doing a London cabby’s knowledge, so they can speak with real authority and experience.
Our overseas Holiday Advisors are, the best of the bunch and so they should be, they’ve got one of the most important roles across our entire business. Recruitment takes place each year and for Summer 2009 positions, we had some 12,000 applicants, for our overseas positions, with a fair number of people even applying on Christmas day!
Our Holiday Advisors are there to ensure you have the best holiday possible and come home with great memories, having got the most out of your trip possible. Let’s not forget, holidays are complicated and things can go wrong, so it’s vital that we have the people on the ground capable of sorting out any problems quickly.